Hayward: ‘Continuity will be key to finding form’

Josh Raby, one of several new signings made by Gary Hayward, is pictured during his debut against Coalville on Saturday.
Josh Raby, one of several new signings made by Gary Hayward, is pictured during his debut against Coalville on Saturday.

Gary Hayward says he is confident Eastwood Town’s fortunes will improve on the pitch soon - once he can get a settled side together at Coronation Park.

The Badgers boss has had to build virtually an entire squad since arriving three weeks ago, with now only Kieran Wells and Tyrone Burton remaining from the previous regime.

And although two more defeats against Coalville and Brigg have seen his side drop further down the table, Hayward remains upbeat about the future.

He said: “We’ve had a very short time to get a new squad together and the consequence is having to put out teams unfamiliar not only with each other but also with our training methods.

“But we’re not far away now. I want to get a solid 15 or 16 players as soon as possible because continuityin the team will be crucial to us picking up points.”

Hayward showed the door to some members of the team who he felt weren’t willing to follow his instructions, but at the same time he has praised the attitude of some of the new players.

“Against Coalville I asked certain players to do certain jobs but they didn’t listen and wanted to do their own thing, so I’ve released them as I don’t want that,” he said.

“On the flip side, I’ve got new lads coming in who are really keen which is excellent.”

Among the new signings is full-back Luke Rowe, who has played international football for New Zealand, and striker Andy Hutchinson from Lincoln United.

Hayward said: “Luke gives us good balance and is also very good with set pieces and free-kicks, while Andy has played league football with Lincoln City and adds options up front.

“Although the first-half was awful against Coalville I felt the second was much better and I’m grateful to the fans for showing their appreciation at the end. We missed good chances for more goals when at 4-2 so anything could have happened.

“At Brigg a bad error put us behind but we ended up having a blatant penalty turned down when the ref opted to give a free-kick outside the box instead, and were unlucky not to get a point.

“So we’re not far off now. That first point or win will be crucial and although we’ve tough games coming up against Goole, who have a new regime in place, and Mickleover on Tuesday, I feel we’re getting better as we go along.

“The players are training really hard twice a week now, which they weren’t before, so I believe it will all start to come together soon.”