FOUR matches unbeaten and a first league win since October left Eastwood Town boss John Ramshaw full of praise for his squad of players this week.
The victory at promotion-chasing Guiseley last Saturday upset all the odds and was the Badgers’ first success in the Blue Square Bet North since Ramshaw took the reins.
And the manager was quick to hail his side’s new-found positivity.
He said: “It was a tremendous result. Everything about the day seemed right, from the jovial attitude of the players on the coach to the game through to their performance on the pitch against what I think is the best side in the division.
“The unity was there for all to see and during the game they hunted in packs to snuff out the danger. It was like a whole new team had emerged from the shadows.
“I was also thrilled with the response to the late equaliser because we refused to lie down and went up the other end to get the winner - at which point the euphoria on the bench was something else. Everyone was so happy.”
Ramshaw now wants Saturday’s success to be the catalyst for a positive end to the season, with key games upcoming against sides around the Badgers at the foot of the table.
He said: “I felt this result had been coming for a while. It’s not just about playing good football, it’s about being prepared and disciplined and I think the players are really clicking now in terms of what we require from them.
“The lads are now buzzing and can’t wait for Saturday to come around. We’re four games unbeaten and there’s no reason why we can’t take a good few points from the matches coming up and give ourselves a chance of survival.”
Eastwood’s squad continued to evolve this week with the arrival of three players and the departure of another.
Midfielder Steve Istead has had his contract cancelled by mutual consent and signed for Buxton, while the Badgers have signed winger Craig Nelthorpe, who scored a stunning volley for Gainsborough Trinity at Coronation Park earlier this season, as well as striker Craig Davies (ex-Stalybridge, Hampton & Richmond) and midfielder Bradley Munn, once of Mansfield Town and Burton Albion.
Ramshaw said: “Steve’s a great lad and I enjoyed working with him, but quite simply we couldn’t afford to keep him here and we came to an agreement so he could leave.
“The new players are necessary given the injuries and suspensions we’re now carrying and all three should be great assets to the squad.”
Meanwhile, Markel Bailey has been suspended from the club by Ramshaw, who said: “We have to review Markel’s future after a series of training ground incidents and concerns over his attitude.”