Thetford striving for unbeaten finish
Thetford Town manager Mark Scott has revealed his side have set themselves a target to remain unbeaten over the Ridgeons Division One run-in.
With eight league games remaining, Scott believes his fifth-placed 'Brecklanders' are good enough to reach that ambitious goal.
'Looking at the fixtures that we've got to come, we believe we could go the rest of the season undefeated or even win all of our remaining games,' he said.
Scott has also identified games against Whitton and Diss as the toughest tests his side will have to face in their quest for an unbeaten end to a very successful season.
'We have identified two of the most testing encounters; one is this Saturday against Whitton at home. They're in good form and that will be an extremely tough challenge. We have played them three times this season, drawn once in the cup and they beat us convincingly at their place in the replay. So we feel we owe them one'. Scott said. 'The other one, which is always going to be difficult for us, is the local derby away at Diss Town. They are right up there this season and are a good side. But, even though they beat us in the league, we knocked them out of the Norfolk Senior Cup and the Ridgeons One Cup, so we don't have to fear them.'
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Scott believes his Thetford side have enjoyed a very successful campaign and is very satisfied with his team's performances this season so far.
'We've had a great season to date, we started off a bit slow and we were struggling to get any sort of consistency and reliability with the players but since January we have only been beaten once by King's Lynn,' he said. 'That was obviously no embarrassment. I think things are going extremely well at the moment, I am very pleased with everybody.'
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Scott also feels a defeat to lowly Team Bury acted as a wake-up call to his team and believes this spurred on his Thetford squad to their superb post-Christmas form.
'We lost to Team Bury on January 3, and since then we have been brilliant,' he said. 'We were all bitterly bitterly disappointed with the manner of the defeat, the way which we played and our attitude towards the game. It was a bit of a Christmas hangover really and it certainly was a wake up call to the players. I wasn't particularly complimentary about them and a few home truths came out but since then we have not looked back. It's been fantastic.'
Scott was quick to attribute Thetford's success to a hard working team ethic on the training pitch, and the superb attitude of his players and the input of his experienced coach Steve Livingstone.
'A lot of it is due to the work on the training pitch and the attitude of the lads. My coach Steve Livingstone is a very knowledgeable an experienced coach and I think the lads are starting to respond to what we are asking them to do,' he said. 'When you're winning it's sometimes easier to keep the momentum because the belief is there and the trust in what you are doing. I think it's down to a lot of hard work on the training ground and the player's attitude. The response from them since that game at Team Bury has been fantastic.'
The Thetford manager feels the team's impressive form is down to a hard-working squad ethic, but did pay special tribute to a few of his outstanding performers.
'It's been a real team effort this season, but certain individuals for example Matt Howard have stood out,' he said. 'Matt is actually a central midfielder but, he has been playing at centre-half and since then, the only game we have lost is to King's Lynn. My strikers have also performed well this season; Matt Dixon is always going to score goals at this level and has worked very hard this season. He's looking for that top scorer accolade and he believes he can firmly achieve that in our division.
'Matt Blake has lit up the division a little bit, he's a phenomenal player, or he's got the ability to be a phenomenal player, he's got strength, power and pace, but he's just a little bit raw. He's learning his trade with every game but his goals have been very important especially a couple of hat-tricks in the last couple of games.
'Liam Bolton, Dan Jones in midfield, David Richards at the back, and my goalkeeper have been brilliant. Everybody has certainly played a part in this success.'