Change of tactics key to avoiding relegation

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WALSHAM-LE-WILLOWS manager Paul Smith revealed that a change of tactics and showing his players the league table every week inspired the club to avoid relegation from the Ridgeons League Premier Division.

The Willows have lost only once in their last seven games, which includes their 6-0 victory away to FC Clacton and their 1-1 home draw against Diss Town over the Easter holidays.

Smith said: “We’ve changed our formation in the last couple of games, which has suited our style of play a lot more.

“We get forward more instead of sitting back and inviting the opposition to attack us.

“We also use the pace we have down both wings more often.

“I printed off the league table every week and showed it to the players so they could see how the other teams were doing and to show it’s (surviving relegation) serious.”

But Smith admitted his side would have avoided a relegation battle had they started their campaign better.

He said: “I wanted a top-half finish at the start of this season and we probably would’ve managed it had we started better. Thankfully our form picked up after Christmas.”

But Smith was impressed by the 6-0 defeat of Clacton and declared his side were unfortunate not to claim all three points in the frustrating home draw with Diss.

He said: “The match against Clacton was one of our best games of the season and all six goals were among the best I’ve seen us score.

“We played so well that I don’t think no one could cope with us.

“We played well against Diss; two shots cleared off the line, one off the post and a couple of one-on-ones we should’ve scored, but they got their equaliser in injury time.

“Ryan Foster played very well against Diss, he was my man of the match. Everyone played well, but he was just that little bit better.”

Walsham’s next game is away at Woodbridge Town on Wednesday (7.45pm) and is a match that holds special importance to Smith.

“I’ve given the boys a 10-day break (before the next game at Woodbridge) so they should be ready,” he said. “I’m from Woodbridge myself so I always look forward to these games and I’m sure that’ll add some spice.”

Meanwhile Mildenhall Town’s poor form continued in the Ridgeons Premier as they drew 1-1 at home to recently-relegated Newmarket Town in a match they were widely expected to win.

Mid-table Hall are on a run of four games without a win but have a chance to turn around their fortunes with their next fixture at basement boys Great Yarmouth Town tomorrow (3pm).