EASTWOOD Town boss John Ramshaw has praised his players after three unbeaten matches and urged them to earn their place at the club next season.
The draws with FC Halifax Town and Solihull Moors in the league followed a victory in the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup against Sutton Town last Wednesday – the first win in any competition since October 29.
And while relegation still stares the Badgers in the face given the 13-point gap between themselves and safety, Ramshaw (pictured right) says he and his staff have been enthused by recent performances.
“It finally looks as though the players are starting to get the message as to what is expected of them,” he said.
“When we came in there was no cohesion at all in the squad. It was 11 individuals rather than a team, with no real discipline and with fitness levels and organisation nowhere near suitable.
“But the penny has gradually been dropping about what it takes to be a player at this level and that’s been reflected in some of the performances.”
With work continuing to go on behind the scenes to pay off debts, Ramshaw is confident the club will survive into next season and with that in mind is already beginning to form an idea of what players he may want to keep.
He said: “We have to have one eye on next season, regardless of which division we may be in.
“There’s a different mood around the club now and the players are starting to show a lot more desire, including those who we offered up for transfer earlier on.”
Ramshaw also praised the work of owner Steve Lynch, who has been working hard to alleviate some of the debts inherited when he bought the club and ensure Eastwood Town FC stays afloat.
“Steve deserves huge accolades because I think he’s almost single-handedly kept the club alive,” said Ramshaw.
“He’s had to take on some crazy debts and tried to make the club a viable business once again.
“Steve is an honourable person and has so far refused to entertain the possibility of administration as an option, which has to be applauded.”
Ramshaw was pleased with his side’s resolve after they twice came from behind to earn draws against Halifax and Solihull.
Saturday’s result came after Eastwood were 2-0 down inside ten minutes before goals from Francis Green and Jevaise Christie sealed a point.
Christie again got the equaliser as the Badgers then drew with Solihull on Tuesday.
Ramshaw said: “I think we all feared the worst when we went two down so early against Halifax but we showed great belief to fight back.
“The sending off helped of course but to be honest even then it was tough as their ten men still cost probably twice as much as our 11!
“One or two people are saying our equaliser didn’t go in but I have no doubt it was a goal and neither do virtually all of the people I’ve spoken to.
“On Tuesday I was disappointed we didn’t win the game in the end as we were much better in the second-half.
“Jevaise Christie missed a great chance at 1-1 which had it gone in could have given us a great platform to go on and win.”
Eastwood head to title-challengers Guiseley on Saturday looking for revenge after losing 7-0 to the Leeds side in the FA Trophy earlier in the season.
“We can use that result as a benchmark to see how far we’ve come,” said Ramshaw.
“Guiseley have improved their squad since then though and are performing very well, so this will be a real test.”
The Badgers will again be without midfielder Ross Gardner who has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to requiring a double hernia operation.