Jones: Cup run can save term
CLIVE Jones hopes a solid mid-table finish and a good cup run will salvage Willand Rovers' disappointing 2012/13 season.
The year began in promising fashion for Willand as they took a six-point lead at the head of the Western League Premier Division in January on their way to a fifth-placed finish, before finishing as runners up in the Les Phillips Cup to Bristol Manor Farm.
But the second half of 2012 has been far more turbulent, with Rovers only climbing out of the relegation zone following recent back-to-back wins over Bridport and Wells City.
Ahead of Buckland Athletic's scheduled visit to Silver Street on Boxing Day, Jones wants another cup run and a strong second half of the season to make up for a disappointing few months.
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"A mid-table finish and hopefully a good run in the Les Phillips Cup is what we're aiming for now," said Jones.
"We actually have Buckland in the next round of the cup too though, and that is going to be a tough one.
"People have been talking about us and relegation and we don't want that so we have to keep pushing to get ourselves up and away from it.
"Mid-table is our aim – after such a poor start to the season we know we can't do any better than that."
Jones' men head into the Boxing Day fixture having not played since the 4-0 defeat of Bridport nearly three weeks ago, with fixtures against Exeter City, Street and Melksham Town all being postponed following heavy rain around the region.
Jones hopes the enforced lay-off has not knocked his men out of their stride following consecutive league wins. And he admits their form will be put to the test against a Buckland side he holds in high regard.
"They have got good players, simple as that. When they joined the league, I said straight away they would get a top-four finish because they have good players and a good manager," he said.
Jones added that he was disappointed their match against Melksham was postponed.
"I think most clubs feel the same as we do and that is that Saturday's are for playing, so it is very disappointing.
"Still, we had a good training session instead and hopefully the Buckland game will go ahead.
"We know we have had a poor season so far, but we've got a couple of wins and hopefully we can keep that run going."