JERSEY BULLS have had difficulty finding their shooting boots at home this season, so their 3-0 win over Tadley Calleva last week was sorely needed ahead of tomorrow’s match against Sheerwater – a team they have stuck 23 goals past across their last four meetings.
And with Sheerwater languishing one place above bottom with by far the most goals conceded (54) than any other club in the league, fans might well be expecting a goal-fest.
But such is the nature of football at this level, Bulls could be facing an entirely different entity than the one that has earned the club just seven points from their opening 16 games, with Sheerwater making nine new signings over the past week. And a narrow 2-1 loss to fourth place Abbey Rangers last Saturday suggests immediate improvement.
“It doesn’t come as much as surprise. Around this time year you see teams at the bottom make a lot of changes, but I don’t like to look at the table too much,” said Bulls captain James Querée. “And whoever comes to Springfield, in front of several hundred people, it is a big occasion for them.
“But the focus is on us, keeping a clean sheet, having a solid defensive foundation and then, moving forward, I have no doubt we will create chances. We have to maintain those good habits.
“We have a lot more confidence as long as we’re solid and in the past we’ve been known to force things and rush it, while teams will try to make it difficult and slow the game down. It can get us frustrated and, when we’re frustrated, we lose our sense of what we set out to do at the beginning of the game. I think we are still learning.”
While Bulls don’t have the luxury of being able to pick players from far and wide to help their cause as other clubs do, Querée says that there is still plenty of competition to keep everyone on their toes and give manager Gary Freeman a selection headache each week. The skipper has found himself playing more at right-back lately thanks to the form of Harry Curtis in his favourable position at centre-half.
“To be honest, I don’t ask too many questions, I’m just happy to get a run out,” added Querée. “I’ve been out for so long [with injury] I’m just happy to be back involved.
“Gary might want me to help shore things up at the back because he knows I’m not going to be making too many overlapping runs, but then I have got two assists over the last two games.”
Jersey Bulls squad: Euan Van Der Vliet, James Querée, Frank Tobin, Jay Giles, Harry Curtis, Luke Campbell, Ben Le Rougetel, Kamen Nafkha, Adam Trotter, Luke Watson, Jonny Le Quesne, Fraser Barlow, James Carr, Seaney McColgan, Harry Scott, Miguel Carvalho, Lorne Bickley.