The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS - By Matt Badcock

ROD STRINGER says see­ing Chelms­ford City’s name in the pro­mo­tion mix is tes­ta­ment to how well his new squad has gelled to­gether – but the Clarets boss knows the hard work is only just be­gin­ning.

Boss Stringer joined the Na­tional League South club in the sum­mer af­ter five-and-a-half years at Bishop’s Stort­ford.

So far it’s go­ing well with his side fourth in the league and on a ten-game un­beaten run be­fore yes­ter­day’s league clash with White­hawk, in the Es­sex Se­nior Cup quar­ter-fi­nals as well as fac­ing Dart­ford in the FA Tro­phy on Satur­day. Home form has been a big part of their suc­cess to this point, and Stringer is pleased de­spite feel­ing his side are still a “work in progress”.

“We’ve only lost three in the league and not lost in the league at home,” Stringer, who won the di­vi­sion with Brain­tree in 2011, told The NLP. “You al­ways want your home to be a fortress and other than los­ing to Dart­ford in the FA Cup we’ve proved that.

“Our prob­lem has been – and the rea­son we’re not as close to lead­ers Maiden­head as we maybe should be – is draw­ing too many games. You don’t mind the odd draw, some­times you have to re­spect the point, but we had a spell of six draws and that’s tough be­cause we were cer­tainly good enough to win them. If we had we’d maybe be a lot closer. But we’re a work in progress. If you look at the teams around us, they’ve all been to­gether a while.

“Only Mark Haines and Ba­gasan Gra­ham were at the club be­fore we got to Chelms­ford. It wasn’t just the start of a new sea­son, it was the start of a new thing at Chelms­ford. “So we’re more than happy with where we are. It’s hard work, we do a lot of re­search and video anal­y­sis – we do as much as we can to give us ev­ery chance. It’s nice to be in the play-offs. It’s just try­ing to sus­tain that.” Stringer is hop­ing to add some new faces as they look to re­place the holes left by Shamir Mullings, who joined For­est Green, and Billy Brick­nell, now at Bil­ler­icay.

And he says the feel-good fac­tor is back at the Melbourne Sta­dium with the av­er­age at­ten­dance just over 900 af­ter some sea­sons of strug­gle.

“The club is very vi­brant at the minute,” Stringer, in­set, said. “It’s go­ing in the right direction. There were a few years where it’s been fight­ing rel­e­ga­tion and the crowds dropped off.

“If we can keep it go­ing the crowds will keep com­ing.”

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