Little Common boss backs team to bounce back from ‘really poor performance’

Little Common forward Jamie Crone on the ball during last weekend's 4-1 loss at home to Loxwood. Picture by Simon Newstead
Little Common forward Jamie Crone on the ball during last weekend's 4-1 loss at home to Loxwood. Picture by Simon Newstead

Little Common player-manager Russell Eldridge has backed the football club to hit back after what he described as one of its worst performances of the season.

The Commoners endured an afternoon to forget as they lost 4-1 at home to Loxwood in the Southern Combination League Premier Division last weekend.

Eldridge said: “It was a really poor performance which resulted in a poor result. We got what we deserved. The sooner we forget about that one and move on to the next game the better really.

See also: * Little Common slump to heavy Loxwood defeat

* Little Common lose out to Horsham YMCA in eight-goal thriller
* Little Common goalkeeper goes close to late leveller against Eastbourne Town

“They certainly didn’t have to work hard for any of their goals and they probably thought their Christmas had come early.

“You can’t make those errors and expect to get a positive result from the game. You might be able to get away with one, but four is something you’re not going to recover from.

“First half we hardly strung a pass together and hardly made the ‘keeper work with the wind behind us. Second half was always going to be tough against the wind and when the third goal went in that was the killer blow.

“I was a little bit disappointed with the way that we applied ourselves and our work ethic. It was unlike us because that’s been one of our strengths this season.

“I’ve asked the boys to reflect on their own individual performances and I’ve reflected on mine. We’ve got to put things right next time.”

Common have dropped a place to 16th after three successive league defeats, a sequence in which they’ve conceded 10 goals.

“I wouldn’t say I was concerned because I thought the performances against Eastbourne (Town) and Horsham (YMCA) were quite good,” Eldridge continued. “As long as we put in decent performances, the result will tend to come.

“I would be more concerned if the level of performance continues like that. I hope it was just a one-off in terms of performance. I have faith in the group we’re going to bounce back.”

Common’s five league matches this month are all against teams in the bottom half of the table, including the bottom two.

“It’s an important month, games where realistically we should be looking to get points out of - and that’s what we’ve got to do,” Eldridge added.

“I’m not saying we’re going to win every game, but we have to be looking to pick up as many points as we can to set us up for the new year.

“I’m happy with the group (of players) we’ve got. I think any manager in the league would always want more, but it’s difficult. If you include us, there’s four teams in Eastbourne competing in one league so the pool of players are quite limited.

“Of course I think I would like to have a bit more competition for places in certain areas of the pitch, but it doesn’t mean to say I’m not happy with the group because I am. We’re always looking to strengthen, but it’s about trying to find the right people and I think that’s easier said than done.”

Eldridge hopes to have Nick Richardson and Jordan Harris back in the squad for the home match against East Preston today (Saturday). Kick-off at The Oval is 3pm.

Common were edged out 1-0 in August’s reverse fixture away to 12th-placed East Preston.