Paul MacFarland says achieving a consistent starting eleven will be key to Eastwood CFC’s chances of maintaining their good form.
Wood have won one and drawn two of their opening Central Midlands League South games, with a CMFL League Cup defeat to Matlock Town Reserves on Wednesday night the only blip so far.
Despite the results, MacFarland has been left frustrated by some players being unable to make the club’s midweek games and therefore creating a lack of consistency in the starting line-up.
He said: “We started really well with the 4-0 win over Pinxton and that set us a really high standard. It saw us carry on our pre-season form.
“But the reality of competitive football and the pressure of playing for points soon sets in and the games since haven’t been as fruitful.
“It’s hard because we have three or four players who simply can’t make the midweek games and that means no matter how well we’ve played in one game, we’ll find it hard to maintain the momentum given the changes in the side.
“I’m hopeful things will settle down soon, especially as the midweek games thin out a bit, but in fairness to be unbeaten after three games given where we were at this stage last season shows how far we’ve come.”
Eastwood face an early top-of-the-table clash this weekend as early leaders Sherwood Colliery come to Coronation Park having won both of their games so far, scoring nine goals and conceding only two in the process.
MacFarland said: “I think they will be one of the teams up there at the end of the season but as long as we can keep ourselves in the top six area for as long as possible then I see no reason why we can’t be up there too.
“There are a few things need changing and we’ll have a couple of new faces in at the weekend in Nathan Mathers, who was once at Ilkeston and who has been in America for the last few years, and Reece Bircham who I signed for Eastwood Town a couple of years ago.”
Last Saturday saw Eastwood draw 1-1 with Selston before Wednesday’s cup exit at Matlock which saw extra-time required to decide the winner.
MacFarland added: “I thought the Selston result was fair in the end. It wasn’t our best game but you have to put some of that down to the opposition who made it tough for us.
“Wednesday was always a difficult game on paper as they have a good squad and play in a decent ground too. We were lucky to come in at half-time at 0-0 as they dominated early on but then the game was much more even and I think we all saw penalties on the cards before they nicked the winner seven minutes from time.
“It’s a shame as a cup run would have been good but we now prepare for Sherwood on Saturday and then to go back to Matlock for a league game next Tuesday night.”