NEEDHAM Market assistant manager Andy Gould believes his side have regained their confidence after two emphatic wins in cup competitions in the past week.
The Marketmen put last week’s disappointing 3-2 defeat to Soham Town Rangers at Bloomfields well and truly behind them on Saturday by demolishing Ryman League Division One South side Ramsgate 7-2 away in their FA Trophy preliminary round match.
They followed it up on Wednesday with another impressive display on the road, in the Suffolk Premier Cup first round, easing past Woodbridge Town 6-0.
The response from the players has left Gould believing confidence has crept back into the dressing room, and he remains hopeful of continuing that form into tomorrow’s league visit to Cheshunt (3pm) and Tuesday’s Ryman league Cup second round trip to Redbridge (7.45pm).
“The recent performances have been a huge boost and it has given us a platform to move forward,” he said.
“We learnt a lot from the performances and ultimately now we have that confidence back.
“We have played with a bit of swagger and we gave very professional performances which we can take forward. There are some difficult games coming up.
“We know we have to earn the right to get three points because no-one just gifts you a win in this division.
“We will have to concentrate, approach the matches in the right frame of mind and hopefully come away with the points.
Needham’s youth team have also been enjoying some cup success of their own, competing in the FA Youth Cup. The youngsters have reached the third qualifying round and will travel to Middlesex on Wednesday night to take on Uxbridge (7.45pm). The winners of that tie will have the opportunity to host AFC Wimbledon in the first round proper, which Gould believes is as strong an incentive as is needed.
“The whole club is delighted with the academy and the success they are enjoying,” he added.
“They came together in a bit of a hurry and to see the improvement they have made is testament to Kevin Horlock and the rest of the management team.
“It is a great incentive for the boys and if they can come away with the result then they will have the opportunity to play a Football League side.
“And to have one as established as AFC at home is something to aim for.”