September 27th, 2016

Smith refuses to give up on Sporting’s title challenge

Smith refuses to give up on Sporting’s title challenge Smith refuses to give up on Sporting’s title challenge
Updated: 9:30 am, Nov 20, 2015

MANAGER Paul Smith insisted Bromsgrove Sporting’s title hopes are ‘nowhere near finished’ despite slipping 13 points adrift of leaders Coventry United.

The Rouslers missed an opportunity to close the gap last Saturday as their title rivals claimed a 3-2 victory to strengthen their hold on top spot in Midland Football League Division One.

The result has left sixth placed Bromsgrove with it all to do, but with two games in hand Smith told The Standard there was plenty of time for his side to catch Coventry.

“On the basis of Coventry’s performance against us, I don’t think they will go the rest of the season unbeaten,” Smith said.

“I have only seen them in that game, so they may have had an off-day, but from my point of view we are in the back end of November and there are still plenty of games left to play, so the league is nowhere finished.

“We are 13 points behind, but if we win our two games in hand that takes it down to seven points and if we beat them at our place that will take it down to four.

“So there is no way you can be crowning Coventry champions now.”

Despite suffering their third defeat in five games, Smith said he was encouraged by the way his side gelled as a team against Coventry United and urged his players to replicate their display when they face Atherstone Town at the Victoria Ground tomorrow (Saturday).

“I said at the start of the season that I thought the squad was stronger than the one I had last year,” he said. “The problem with that, though, is that I have got a very strong selection of individuals and they have not put together a team performance yet.

“But Saturday was the closest they have come to doing that.

“We could not have done anything more on Saturday, so after the defeat I told the lads to use this as a platform because we showed the first real signs of a squad coming together.”

Kyle Turner, who joined Sporting from Atherstone last week, is set to play against his former club and Smith he had been impressed with the way his new striker linked up with Connor Collins.

“So far this year we have had strikers who look like they are playing for themselves whereas in Kyle’s and Connor’s first game together they clicked very well,” Smith added.

“They were looking for each other all the time, so it was a promising debut for them as a pairing and hopefully if they can keep working hard they will be a decent front two for us.”

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