With the players back in training, preparing for Durham, we caught up with Scott Booth to get his thoughts on the second half of the season.
“Really excited to get back into it. A lot of big games coming up, and we’ve been preparing really hard for the second half of the season.
“We’ve obviously been able to bring in a few players, we’re much stronger, the players are back with the correct attitude and have definitely gone up a gear.
“They’ve come back really, really well. Both mentally and physically ready for the challenge that’s ahead. No one’s hiding from it, we know each game is going to be a cup final for us, going to be tough.
“Each game’s going to be immensely competitive and we have to be ready for that. I think the fact we’ve strengthened will really help us.”
We have brought in new recruits, Jacqui Hand and Lois Roche in the January window and Scott is delighted to have more depth.
“They’re key, we’ve got with Lois, a lot more experience in the middle of the park, which is going to be really important for the run-in.
“Then also with Jacqui, she adds a lot of ability up top across the front position, so it just helps up the anti and gives the squad competitiveness that we were missing in the first half of the season. We hope to continue that by bringing in more.
“It means that we will have strength and depth, we will be able to go into games with a full complement of subs which will help influence the game more.
“The first part of the season we picked up a number of injuries and we had limited options from the bench to be honest.
“The players we did have though were excellent in their attitude, they all wanted to play, but now we have that extra edge of competitiveness. All the players know that we needed it and how important it was to bring new faces in.”
It’s been a different challenge for Scott this season, one he’s not seen much of in his managerial career, and one he is not underestimating.
“I’ve had my fair share of winning trophies and winning games on a regular basis but football is about challenging yourself, and it’s certainly a challenge at Lewes.
“You learn a lot from these challenges, losing games, and how to win, how you want to change your mindset in a side.
“How you get them to be more hungry, to set those standards really high, so that’s the challenge, and it’s ongoing but I really believe the players have gone up a level.
“It’s been great that the club have helped us bring in and strengthen the squad. They understand the position we’re in and how important it is.”
We were also able to play a behind closed doors friendly against Chelsea U21s last week, a game which was crucial to get players minutes in.
“The friendly was really important, really competitive, a really young side of excellent young players.
“It brought something a bit different for us and it was certainly a worthwhile experience to go and play them.”
We now continue to prepare for Durham the first of two back-to-back league home games and Scott has made the standard very clear.
“It’s great to have a couple of home games, it will be good for us, especially with a freshened up squad but it does mean that these games are vitally important.
“We need to understand that in these games now we’ve got to take the points, it’s as simple as that, it’s home advantage and we’ve got to take it.”