CLARETS STRONGER WITH STRINGER
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.”