Tony Russell – “I feel there’s a real good connection with the players and supporters.” – Lewes Community Football Club

Tony Russell – “I feel there’s a real good connection with the players and supporters.”

Tony Russell – “I feel there’s a real good connection with the players and supporters.”

Club news

Written by: Jack

Tony Russell has spoken of his excitement within the squad following back-to-back wins over Bognor Regis Town and Bishop’s Stortford. 

Last week, goals from Joe Taylor, Ayo Olukoga and Ryan Gondoh oversaw Bishop’s Stortford’s first loss at home for 32-matches. Tony reflects on last week’s performance.

“I think Bishop’s Stortford was probably our most complete performance of the season. We’ve shown our quality this season but I think that’s the first we’ve seen it over 90-minutes.

“We pretty much controlled it from the first minute to the last if I’m honest. They’re a really good side and there’s a reason they haven’t been beaten at home for 32 games.

“We went there, played really well, and we implemented everything we wanted to work on and spoke about before the game.”

What’s more he was particularly impressed with individual performances.

“It was disappointing to only be one up at half-time but we scored some great goals and there were some great individual performances as well.

“The performances of Hydey and Gondoh are only getting better every single game. I’m excited to see how that progresses because they’ll only get better.

“It was great to have Deon Moore back as well – he put a great shift in for the boys. Ayo at right-back continues to shine, scored a great goal as well , but his overall game was fantastic.

“But overall that performance shows us where we’re at, at the moment. We now move into some dangerous games for us.”

We now go into a run of three home games in a row over the next week and Tony is emphasising the need for players to learn from previous mistakes.

“If you look at our record against top sides, it’s very good and our record against the sides down the bottom has been not so good the first half of the season.

“Every game poses different threats, we spoke about the Bognor game how they’d come and bust it open with their energy then we go to Bishop’s Stortford and it’s about physically standing up to them.

“Saturday will be different, Casuals have a new management team and there’s been a big improvement on their results. Only narrowly lost to Bishop’s Stortford, beat Billericay away, I watched them against Aveley and that was an even game.

“I’ve stressed this to the players that we can’t just turn up and expect to win, this league just doesn’t work like that. If we haven’t learned that lesson by now then we haven’t been looking at the rest of the season.”

Specifically on Corinthian Casuals, Tony speaks of how his side have been preparing this week.

“They’ve got threats, they’re hard to scout, because with the new management coming in they’re going to change personnel quite a lot.

“Saying that, we’ve been having some excellent training sessions, one of the best we’ve had on Wednesday, we did 11v11, worked with and without the ball so we’re as prepared as we’re ever going to be.

“The gameplan is there and everyone knows their jobs; there’s a real excitement in the camp right now, this group are really exciting me because they’re challenging me as a coach.

“What I mean by that is I’m progressing with stuff. As a coach when you’re doing patterns you might try and keep it simple whereas now we’re trying to accelerate that process and be a little more creative with it.

“We’ve set some different tactical stuff for Saturday which we’ve worked on and everyone is comfortable with it. It’s just a brilliant camp to be a part of right now, a great dressing room, they’re a pleasure to coach and manage.

“It’s a real good energy in the dressing room and that’s important we play on that to continue to make sure we build on that excitement.”

Tony has also further given an appeal for fans to turn out in their numbers for the coming games.

“We have three home games in a row and we have to make the most of that. It’s where the home support becomes important as well and I hope they see what I’m seeing.

“I think we’re in for a very exciting second-half of the season. I’d like to see some big numbers at the Pan, because it makes such a difference when we have that. The atmosphere is unbelievable.

“I’d also like to think that they do that because they’re seeing good games of football as well.

“For periods of the game we need to be patient and don’t leave ourselves open for the counter-attack. But my main messages to the players and also the supporters is that we have no divine right to win any game of football.

“Turn up, put your best foot forward, and the rest will look after itself. That goes for the fans as well, be vocal, cheer the boys on, we really appreciate it and I know we always say that but I feel there’s a real good connection with the players and supporters.”

Lewes FC vs Corinthian Casuals tickets

The match on Saturday is at 3pm. You can buy Lewes FC tickets for the game online and skip the queue at the gate. Online ticket prices are as follows:

Adults – £12
Concessions – £8
Kids U16 – Free
Beach Huts – £110


Photo: James Boyes