‘Challenge is to repeat cup form in league’

Horsham FC - latest ground works at Hop Oak 12/10/18. Pic Steve Robards SR1827367 SUS-181210-163224001
Horsham FC - latest ground works at Hop Oak 12/10/18. Pic Steve Robards SR1827367 SUS-181210-163224001

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola has challenged his players to take their cup form into the league campaign.

Successful runs in the FA Trophy - the latest Saturday’s 3-1 success over Ware - and FA Cup - although now out of the latter - have seen the Hornets’ focus drift from their domestic campaign in recent weeks.

They have played just seven times in the South East Division of the Bostik League so far this season and sit 15th with three wins and four defeats.

They were set for a league double this week, but Wednesday’s match away to Thamesmead Town was called off with the London-club announcing they were going into liquidation and folding with immediate effect.

That leaves a home clash with Sussex rivals East Grinstead this Saturday as they look to catch-up with league fixtures, having played two less than the majority of other sides.

And while Di Paola wants his side to replicate their impressive cup displays, he has stressed he is not worried about their league results so far.

The manager explained: “We have got to start, I was going to say doing better, but if you look at our league form - we have lost to Hastings, who are probably going to win the league, we threw away a game against Haywards Heath, Whyteleafe we were crap, but Sittingbourne on the opening day we should have had a draw.

“Our league form isn’t that bad, but because we have barely played a game, you haven’t got a benchmark. We were great against Herne Bay and great against Phoenix.

“I have said to the boys that if we look at our position in the league, it does not look very good. The challenge now is to take our cup form into the league.

“If we can do that we will be alright, we will be doing ok. We have quite a few games in hand now and I never like having games in hand, I would much rather be up to date and not playing catch-up.

“It will be nice to get a run of league games and get further up that table, because at the moment it’s not great viewing, but we have games in hand, so we can try and close that gap.”

Joey Taylor is set to return on Saturday against East Grinstead after being on international duty for Montserrat (see page 57), while striker Chris Smith is fit again.