Shrivenham manager Gareth Davies said he will be looking for a significant reaction from his players when they take on second-bottom in the Premier Division Ardley United on Saturday. Writes Jonny Leighfield sports writer for The Swindon Advertiser
Davies’ men come into the fixture of the back of two defeats against Longlevens by an aggregate score of 7-1.
Having been beaten 6-1 away from home a little over a week ago, Shrivenham managed to save some pride by only going down by a goal at Barrington Park.
Not that Davies saw the defeat as a good thing in any way. The Shrivenham manager worked his players to the bone during their first of two training sessions and says he will send them out onto the pitch with a clear message on Saturday – win or else.
He said: “We’ll have to improve this weekend because the last two games have not been good enough.
“The Tuesday night game against Longlevens, we were absolutely awful – we could have been beaten by more. We seem to have got back into that bad habit of thinking teams are just going to roll over for us, and it doesn’t work like that – I won’t stand for it. This week has been tough in training. Tuesday night, we didn’t do any ball work – I just made them run for the entire session, so hopefully they’ve heard the message loud and clear.”
Shrivenham are set to take on an Ardley side who have won just once in their last 15 games in all competitions. Although, Shrivvy’s Oxfordshire rivals managed a draw in the pair’s early-season clash, and manager Davies is expecting another tricky test this time around – regardless of either team’s league position.
He said: “We drew with them earlier in the season, and to be fair to Ardley, they are not a bad side. I don’t think their league position is quite a fair reflection of their ability – then again, I’ve only seen them once or twice this season. I am looking for a reaction from the players this weekend because we’re up there in the league, but we haven’t been playing like it over the last two games. I’ll be sending them out with the sole aim of getting three points because nothing else will do in my eyes.”
Though Ardley may not be the same side as Davies remembers from Shrivenham's last league game against them, a 2-2 braw at Barrington Park. Craig Adey resigned from his postion as manager at the beginning of this month, and has been replaced by manager Lee Matthews and coach David Michno who were with Didcot Town Development. Considerable player transfers to and from Ardley have taken place during the past week.