REDDITCH United boss Liam McDonald was in upbeat mood despite seeing his side’s Southern League Premier Division winless run extended to three games, writes Anna-Louise Adams.
The Reds were edged out 1-0 at the Valley Stadium by much-fancied leaders Poole Town on Non League Day on Saturday before again drawing a blank in Monday’s goalless draw at home to Cirencester Town.
Victories in both matches would have put McDonald’s side top of the table for 24 hours at least, however they now sit ninth, but the manager is refusing to panic after the wobble in form, which followed a five-match winning streak.
McDonald, whose side have played numerous sides expected to be in the promotion shake-up this season, said: “We’ve had a tough start to the season, there’s no doubt after it, and we’ve seen plenty to be positive about, despite the last few results not going the way we wanted.
“When we played Dunstable recently we weren’t at the races and they were probably the best side we’ve come up against so far this season.
“With Poole, it was a bit of a sucker-punch to concede a penalty with ten minutes to go because we’d been dominating the game, so we can take heart from the performance.
“Monday against Cirencester was all about picking ourselves up after the two previous games and refocusing. The lads worked really hard.
“Cirencester came and played a very defensive game, they had come to try and stop us from scoring and we struggled to break them down.
“I wanted the boys to enjoy themselves and they can now learn from the defensive style that Cirencester brought to us.
“We know now that some teams might come to us and play defensively, because teams are realising that we are a good team.”
The Reds now face two away fixtures, the first of which is at county rivals Evesham United – who play a tier below Redditch – in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday.
“Evesham are a really strong outfit this season. However, we’ve had a really tough start to our season too and we’ve got some great results, so we go there with confidence,” added McDonald, whose side have 16 points from nine games.
“It would be great to have a cup run this season because the fans deserve it as their support has been absolutely brilliant.”
United’s next league game is a trip to Hitchin Town on September 20.
“We do want to get three points against Hitchin, as we like to look at blocks of games rather than one game at a time and if we get three points then we’ll be nearer to our target for this first part of the season,” said McDonald.