Lewes FC boss Tony Russell insists his troops are ready to bounce back following the 5-1 defeat to Potters Bar last weekend – starting with Saturday’s clash at Bowers & Pitsea.
The Rooks endured a tough day at the office last time out, where Taylor Maloney scored a consolation and Ollie Tanner was sent off.
Russell is tasked with reinvigorating the squad heading into Saturday’s trip to Essex.
And the manager is hoping for a response from his players.
“As a group we need to draw a line under that game and move forward. It’s all we can do. We can’t dwell too much on it. We’ve had the inquest, dissected it and had chats about it,” says Russell.
“I thought we were very poor in both boxes, we didn’t defend great and having had 59% of the ball and got in the box 25 times, and to only have two shots on target, that’s not good enough either.”
Tanner’s still growing
Russell was also quick to address Tanner’s dismissal. The 19-year-old will now be suspended for three games, starting with Saturday’s clash.
“We’re disappointed about that and I’ve spoken to Ollie. I had a good chat with him in training and I think we’ve got to understand that he’s 19 years old and he’s growing both on and off the pitch,” says Russell.
“I have huge respect for him as a player and a person, and he’s made great strides as a player since coming in with us. I think on the back of what happened on Saturday he will learn a lot from that.
“It’s up to us as a group to help him develop as well. He’s very apologetic and knows he let us down – and he also knows going forward that that can’t happen.
“But I also think for his development sometimes you need to hit a little bump in the road to really learn. After the conversation I had with him at training last night, he was saying all the right things to me.
“For us we’re going to put it to bed. He will learn his lesson and he’s now got to watch his mates play football for three games, which he’s obviously very distraught about. He loves football.”
On Bowers & Pitsea
Lewes head into Saturday’s 3pm tie at the Len Salmon Stadium sixth in the Isthmian League table and 12 points ahead of Bowers & Pitsea.
But Russell is cautious of what Rob Small’s side could offer this weekend – particularly considering they have won three of their last five games.
“Bowers & Pitsea is a tough place to go,” says Russell. “Rob’s always got his side well organised – they’re hard to beat and break down.
“I think they will sit in and wait for us to make a mistake. We’ll plan for that and it’s up to us to be good enough to do that. If we deliver on Saturday what we delivered in training then I’m very confident that we can get the victory.”