PAUL SMITH believes Bromsgrove Sporting are now turning a collection of talented individuals into a quality team.
The Rouslers boss admitted there have been ups and downs this season but a fifth win a row after defeating bogey side AFC Hinckley will send them into the festive programme in upbeat form.
The only frustration is that they have no game this weekend – scheduled opponents and fellow title-chasers Nuneaton Griff are in FA Vase action – so instead the players will be training and then enjoying their Christmas night-out.
Smith said: “The players aren’t too bothered about having a Saturday off because they’re turning their Christmas night-out into a day and night-out!
“As a manager, it’s disappointing not to be playing for a couple of weeks because we have been putting in some good performances.
“You can get into a roll when you’re winning, confidence goes up and you want to keep it going.
“We’ve made some decisions in our personnel in the last five or six weeks but it has paid off.
“I was convinced when we started the season with the best squad I’ve had but there was a missing link. We had individuals but it wasn’t a team. Now the group is really tight.”
Nothing proves that more than the scrap to play up-front. Smith hailed strike trio Connor Collins, Sean Brain and new recruit Kyle Turner for their goals in helping spark the best run of the season so far.
Brain and Collins started against Hinckley but sub Turner’s double sealed victory after coming on.
“We’ve got three strikers on fire,” said Smith. “Though I’m playing with two up-front, I’ve hold them they will all get equal match time. They are full of energy, full of sharpness and all scoring.”
That combination, plus plenty of endeavour and defensive fortitude, were essential as the Rouslers swept aside Hinckley to remain fourth in the Midlands One table.
“It was always going to be a game of two halves, because the wind was blowing so strongly,” said Smith.
“Hinckley probably edged the first half and led 1-0, but I felt they hadn’t really taken advantage of the conditions. I told my lads to keep their heads up. We dominated the second half until the last five minutes when it was squeaky bum time. They piled people forward but we defended really well.
“It was a convincing 2-1 win against a side that had whacked us in the FA Cup in August. I think we have come a long way since then.”