Widdrington urges critics to get behind his team

Tommy Widdrington

Tommy Widdrington

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Eastbourne Borough manager Tommy Widdrington insists the club is in great shape and everyone involved is working hard for success.

Much criticism has come their way in recent weeks following their exit from the FA Trophy and the departure of academy manager Chris Agutter.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) National League South trip to Oxford City, Widdrington said, “The club is in a much better position on the pitch and financially than when I arrived - that is credit to everyone at the club.

“People sometimes forget stability is massive and at this point in time, the club, as a whole, are in the right division. I fully understand that the fans want to see progression - nobody wants that more than me.

“But there is no magic fix, we do not have a divine right to promotion just because this club has competed at a higher level in the past.

“I have to live in the here and now and plan for the future. That is what we are all working towards. We have had a few changes recently but I feel now we can all move in the same direction. We can steer the boat in the right direction without someone else drilling a hole in the back of the boat.”

Of the criticism he and sometimes the players has received on social media, Widdrington added, “It does have an impact and it does not do the team any favours. It’s part of football and we have to deal with it. People can be quick to criticise and slow to praise. We are not perfect but alongside that we have also got a lot of things right.”

Borough are 11th in the National League South standings and face an Oxford City side who are 17th and have just changed their manager.

Justin Merritt stepped aside after the team were thrashed 6-0 by Hungerford Town - Mark Jones has taken over first team duties on a caretaker basis.

Widdrington added, “They have a new man in charge and they are on the back of a heavy defeat. I’m sure they’ll have a point to prove.”

Gavin McCallum remains sidelined with an elbow injury while Widdrington will hope Brain Dutton and Jamie Taylor recover from flu.