Crit­i­cal fix­tures ahead for United

Uxbridge Gazette - - SPORT -

PAUL Hughes has vowed to keep the pres­sure off his Hayes & Yeading play­ers ahead of a po­ten­tially sea­son-defin­ing pe­riod, writes Jon Batham.

United’s 1-0 loss to Hughes’ old club Kings Lan­g­ley on New Year’s Day, hav­ing let a 2-0 lead slip to lose 3-2 to Slough Town four days ear­lier, leaves them rooted in the bot­tom three of the South­ern Premier ahead of Sun­day’s home game with Cam­bridge City, one of the two clubs be­low them.

With base­ment boys Cin­der­ford due to visit the fol­low­ing Satur­day, it ap­pears vi­tal United take ad­van­tage to climb the ta­ble.

Hughes though, sounded a note of cau­tion. “Cam­bridge and Cin­der­ford are ab­so­lutely cru­cial fix­tures, but foot­ball is as much a men­tal game as a phys­i­cal one so you can’t put too much pres­sure on play­ers at times like this,” said the United man­ager.

“It is about try­ing not to let con­fi­dence drain out of play­ers. If you put too much pres­sure on them it can have an ad­verse ef­fect. Keep­ing pres­sure off is quite sim­ple and is about fo­cus­ing on per­for­mance be­cause that is the as­pect un­der your con­trol.”

United dom­i­nated large parts of the Kings Lan­g­ley en­counter, hav­ing an early Josh Cham­ber­lain goal chalked off be­cause the ref­eree failed to play ad­van­tage af­ter a foul.

There­after, they found goal­keeper Xavi Co­man un­beat­able, the home cus­to­dian com­pound­ing United’s mis­ery with a stop­page time penalty save from on-loan striker Mitchell Weiss to deny the vis­i­tors a point. The lat­est blank in front of goal means United re­main the league’s low­est scor­ers.

“You get games where ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions go against you or the other keeper is ex­cel­lent – we are due a rub of the green,” said Hughes.

In Di­vi­sion One Cen­tral, Uxbridge fol­lowed last Tues­day’s 2-1 win at Han­well Town with a 4-1 home de­feat to Pot­ters Bar on Mon­day, while North­wood drew 1-1 with Han­well and AFC Hayes beat Wind­sor 1-0 in the Com­bined Coun­ties Premier. In Spar­tan South Mid­lands Di­vi­sion One, Hare­field United beat Hadley Wood & Win­gate 2-1, but Hilling­don Bor­ough crashed 4-1 at Southall.

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