Lowestoft Town get nasty ahead of Horsham visit
Getting nasty and an honest discussion have helped Lowestoft Town get their season back on track – something Craig Fleming hopes to see continue against the Ryman League's basement boys on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
The Trawlerboys welcome struggling Horsham to Crown Meadow for only their second Premier Division fixture in seven outings. Town are without a win in three league games, with a 2-1 defeat at Tooting & Mitcham United particularly painful.
But despite their FA Cup exit to Chelmsford, Town have made safe progress in the Suffolk Senior Cup and FA Trophy – the latter thanks to Saturday's 3-1 win at Hitchin Town.
And director of football Fleming points to events at Tooting – and the weekend's after-effects in Hertfordshire – as a route forward for the Ryman's pre-season favourites.
'The whole weekend was very positive – we came off the back of a couple of indifferent performances, if I'm being brutally honest with you,' admitted Fleming.
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'We had a good chat as a group after Tooting, an honest discussion about the things we could do better and the ways to improve, they took it on board, we listened to them and they listened to us, and we did it.
'We had a couple of more regular faces back which is always good, but the whole performance Saturday was great.
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'We identified that we needed to be that little bit nasty and harder to play against, because the talent is undoubtedly there, football and technically wise; they are very good. We just needed to mix it up a little bit.
'They're a cracking bunch of lads. They want to be successful, to do well. They are pretty honest and were very disappointed after Tooting, they were very down.
'When they get the right mixture of wanting to play football and being hard to play against, they're a very good team.'
Horsham are without a win in 15 matches in all competitions, propping up the division on goal difference. But given all Town's recent successes, Fleming knows what to expect from them.
'It was one of the things we talked about – we've got this aura at this level and because of the success we've had in the last few years, everybody wants to beat us more than anybody else,' said Fleming.
'It shows every week. Tooting played us the other week like it was a cup final and celebrated it like a cup final – and then next game they lost 5-1.
'Everybody raises their game to play us and if we're not totally up for it, other teams are – and that's when we get a bad result.
'League positions are irrelevant when we play, because teams want to beat us that badly.'
Chris Henderson should be in contention after recovering from the sore foot that kept him out at Hitchin, with an otherwise strong Town squad available.
• Lowestoft Town have been handed a trip to Ryman Division One North outfit Harlow Town in the FA Trophy third qualifying round, to be played on Saturday, November 26.