We are their managers not their mates

Tommy Widdrington
Tommy Widdrington

Tommy Widdrington believes he has pulled his Eastbourne Borough players out of their comfort zone by installing a necessary distinction in the dressing room between manager and mate.

Widdrington’s arrival at Priory Lane has revitalised a Boro’ side stuck in a rut in the lower reaches of the Blue Square South, and while they’re not safe just yet, he believes they’re at least on the right track.

“When Alan Kimble and I got here, I think the players were too comfortable. We’ve come in and been like their boss rather than their mate and demanded a lot more from them, and I think that’s made a difference.

“We were new to them, and they were new to us. They’ve tried the best they could and I can’t knock any of them on their application.”

Boro’ hadn’t won in the league since early December before Widdrington’s arrival in February. Since then, they have won four and drawn three and hope to continue that improved form when they face high-flying duo Welling United and Chelmsford City this weekend.

“A lot of the players haven’t changed, they’ve just improved. I’ve brought in about four or five new faces and they have played their part in changing the fortunes on the pitch, as has the training sessions and demands that Alan and I have brought with us off the pitch.”

Widdrington accepts more still needs to be done before Boro’ reach the desired level, but believes there is only one thing capable of allowing them to do so.

“Time. That’s all we need. Just look at Dartford on Tuesday night; they are a very well-drilled side but they’ve had three or four years to build that.

“There may be changes in playing personnel until I get a team that I feel is settled and capable enough, but that may take a while.”

The players face a demanding Easter weekend as they come up against third-placed Welling on Saturday and travel to fifth-placed Chelmsford just two days later.

“I always try to stay positive, even though it is a very tough schedule. We have a few players carrying knocks, as well as the ones who are just returning from injury, so I’ll have to see how everyone’s feeling after training.

“We just need to grind out a few more wins and secure our safety sooner rather than later.”

Marvin Hamilton-Omole, who suffered an ankle injury in the Sports’ match with Sutton United in early March, is getting closer to fitness and may feature in their meeting with Chelmsford on Easter Monday.