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Whaley challenges his players for more of the same after impressive win

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March Town manager Brett Whaley has thrown down the gauntlet to his players after a great victory at league leaders Downham Town this afternoon.

The Hares boss says better attendances at training and more availability on match days will lead to a settled starting line up and possible glory at the end of the season.

After a great display at Downham, Whaley said: "As a group now we need to step up as this is a real opportunity for the football club and we've got to seize that.Today, that's the most professional performance we've put in this season. We were a real unit, everyone did their jobs, and Charlie's only had to make one save against a side that were top of the league.

March manager Brett Whaley. (25368999)
March manager Brett Whaley. (25368999)

"But, as much as I should be elated, I don't know what I'm going to get next week at home to Needham Market. When we're good, we're really good but when we're bad, we're really bad and we don't seem to have anything in between. And this group of players needs to be training every week and players need to be available every week.

"So to have low numbers at training and players going for weekends away, things like that are what are stopping us. And it does effect us as I can never name the side. All the best sides have the same back four, the same team week in, week out. They don't change their players too much.

"If the continuity of selection is not the same the level of performance is not the same and we keep having a couple of wins and then a loss. I knew the Cornard game would be tough because my lads approached it differently in their heads and we were flat."

Dylan Edge is approaching full match fitness. (25371455)
Dylan Edge is approaching full match fitness. (25371455)

"Today, we'd had two weeks since that game, where we didn't do ourselves justice. But the thing is with these boys, every time our attitude and approach to a match is right we get results. We dominated in the middle of the park against Downham, up front we always look dangerous. We showed the heart and determination we don't always show.

"I know they can perform like that but what they can't do at the minute is play like that week in, week out and that's the biggest problem I have. We've got the footballing ability, we can defend properly, score goals and dominate games but sometimes we turn up with the wrong approach. If we can play like that against the league leaders, we shouldn't be worrying about where we are in the table – we should be right up there challenging.

"I love to see us playing really good football but I need to see performances like that more often because that's where you win things and get to the top of the league. When we play our game we can beat any team in this league. We're not a young side any more and we cannot use that as an excuse as we've added a lot of experience. The players have just got to realise this season could be really successful.

"We are half way through the season now. The cup runs were fun but, in truth, a distraction. From now on, every game is like a cup final and we have to make sure we are right as we've given ourselves a lot to do."

Jack Saunders impressed his manager this afternoon. (25371563)
Jack Saunders impressed his manager this afternoon. (25371563)

Whaley was particularly impressed with his makeshift back four today, saying: "Jack Saunders played well in his first full game for a long time and made a real impression, Tom McLeish played well with an injury and out of position, Danny Emmington was a leader, Jamie Short played really well, again out of position."

He was also pleased that Dylan Edge is getting match to full fitness, and with the addition to the squad of Lewis Hilliard, who has been out for two months at Peterborough Sports with a fractured ankle: "He's a March lad and he asked to come to us as he needs some games to get fit. He's a great footballer and we just need some more experienced players like him."

The March boss also praised the great support received by March today: "We had a coach load of supporters with us. They've been great at home games and to make the effort to come here is brilliant. It makes a massive difference. When it got tough and the lads were tired, they kept us going. If they can continue to help us away from home that would be a big thing for us."

New signing Lewis Hilliard (25371591)
New signing Lewis Hilliard (25371591)

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