CHANGES ON THE WAY? Ambitious Mildenhall Town boss Christian Appleford thinks about tinkering his playing squad after mixed bag of results so far for the Suffolk side
- Credit: Archant
Mildenhall Town boss Christian Appleford has admitted that he is thinking about tinkering with his playing personnel after overseeing his side’s rather mediocre start to the season.
In their last three games, Hall have won one, drawn one, and lost one – exiting the FA Vase on Saturday – leaving an ambitious manager rather frustrated.
A goal two minutes from time from Thurlow Nunn Premier Division opponents Fakenham Town sank Mildenhall to a Second Round Qualifying Vase defeat, despite Hall hitting the bar and post four times and missing a penalty through Craig Nurse.
“It is a very disappointing defeat for us,” admitted Appleford, who also saw David Cooper sent off in a bad day at the office for Hall.
He continued: “I actually let rip at the players at full-time.
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“We played quite well, especially in the last half-an-hour of the game, but got done by a sucker-punch.
“Our concentration went and some people do definitely need to stand up and be counted.
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“Some people are coasting through games at the moment and I am thinking about some changes in and out of the squad.”
With prize money of £800 available for the winners which only increases round-by-round, and the chance of gaining some cup momentum in a highly-popular and respected FA affiliated competition which sees the final played at Wembley, the exit was a doubly bitter pill for Appleford to swallow.
“We should still be in the competition,” continued Appleford.
“We ought to have won the game with the amount of chances we created, and the fact that we had already beaten Fakenham at their place earlier in the season (a 1-0 league victory).
“We got a point against Whitton (a 3-3 draw after being 3-0 up) the game before without playing very well, yet played five times better against Fakenham, and still didn’t win the game so I think the squad needs tweaking and freshening up.”
Hall currently sit in 12th position in the league having won four, drawn one, and lost three of their fixtures so far.
Again, ambitious Appleford is a little disappointed having set his standards high in pre-season.
“We are probably a few points down from the targets we set ourselves,” he admitted.
“At the very least our aim is a top-six finish and by this point of the season I’d expect us to certainly have a few more points.
“We have a few games in hand on some teams and we really need to kick on in the league.
“Ideally, our aim is to finish in the top three and win promotion. We set our targets high - and we certainly have a good and strong enough squad to do so but it looks like I might have to make a few changes.”
Two positives for Appleford recently have been his strikers.
The popular figure of Steve Holder, who scored frequently for Hall last season, has returned to Recreation Way after deciding to leave Ryman Premier Division side Bury Town, while poacher Adam Burroughs has scored three goals in his last three games.
“Adam’s got a knack of scoring, while it’s great to see Steve back,” said Appleford.
“I knew he’d come back, I think it was just a case of when.
“He’s a class act, he works hard, and he’ll score plenty of goals for us again this year.”
There is not such good news for striker Aaron Turner though, who is set to be out until mid-December with ruptured ankle ligaments.