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“It’s been a bit of a reality check if I’m being honest” – Mike Ford gives his views on Evesham United’s start to the season

Evesham United manager Mike Ford believes the team are back on track after what was a difficult start to the season.

The Robins have gained seven points out of a possible nine in the last week after there had been many problems within the squad.

Ford said “I didn’t expect to lose as many players as we have and if you look back at the playoff semi-final last season, I think only four remain”.

Speaking in early October, Ford said “the expectation for this season is higher than it was last year and when you start off like how we have it’s more of a reality check if anything’.

Ex-club captain Charlie Wise had left the club after a minor falling out with the manager, until he returned a month later and has become the key player he was last season, again.

The weekend before last The Robins and at least 50 of their hardcore supporters made the 12 hour round trip to Mousehole.

Ford showed how grateful he was for his fans as he said “it’s days like this where you appreciate non-league and all the supporters who travel this far”.

Amer Awadh has been the standout player for United this season and has been vital to what Ford is making within this Evesham team, one of many reasons why he was given captaincy after Wise left.

“Mersy (Awadh’s nickname within the squad) is a great lad and a great player, everyone loves him with not a bad word to be said” stated Ford.

Captain Amer Awadh against Tavistock

Evesham are 15 games into the season, only three points off the playoffs and seven off the top of the table, which originally is what the Chairman wanted.

Being a semi-pro team, Evesham only train twice a week and see each other maybe three or four times a week.

When compared to a professional club who see each other at least five days of the week allowing an increase in “squad morale”.

“By seeing each other more the morale within the squad then becomes higher” believes Ford.

However, due to the use of social media even outside of footballing hours the morale within the squad is very high and a lot of the players including Levi Steele, Alfie Dunn and Awadh take to twitter to joke with each other and the fans.

With Hamworthy United dropping out of the league there is now only 19 teams and a slightly better chance for promotion after Hamworthy were the club to beat for Evesham in the semi-final last season.

Speaking on playoff chances, Ford said “people might go game to game in the chances some do some don’t and we keep saying to the lads, we’re here to win but if you can’t win you don’t get beat.”

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