Beard: We have our identity back at Loxwood again

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick. Pic Steve Robards  SR1700509 SUS-170116-101755001
Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick. Pic Steve Robards SR1700509 SUS-170116-101755001
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Mark Beard says Loxwood have their identity back after even he lost the enjoyment during their torrid run of form.

The Magpies climbed back into the top half of the Premier Division on Saturday as they tasted victory for the first time in eight attempts.

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick. Pic Steve Robards  SR1700523 SUS-170116-101839001

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick. Pic Steve Robards SR1700523 SUS-170116-101839001

After a promising 2-2 draw with nine men against Peacehaven last week, the Magpies won for the first time since November as they beat Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday.

After a dreadful December, the Plaistow Road outfit decided to get back to their route of playing promising young players.

Beard has brought in new recruits Reece Batchelor, Tom Frankland and goalkeeper Dave Carruthers to boost his numbers as well as a few exits from players that could not commit to training.

The Loxwood manager believes that has been key in their turnaround and revealed: “It was out first win for ages, we did not win for the whole of December, although it was a good performance last week, affected by the sending-offs.

“I made a few changes, a few players have left and a couple of players have not been available to commit to training. It became not how I wanted it and we were not able to work on things in training. I wanted boys there that were committed and that wanted to be playing.

“I am not sure it is a coincidence that we have got back to doing that and we are playing better again.

“Someone mentioned to me that it looked like we had lost our identity and we had.

“Anyone that comes and watches any of my teams will know what we like to do, and we weren’t looking like one of my sides. I was not even enjoying it myself, but we have worked hard in training to do things differently, even before the games, we have tweaked things and it has worked so well.”

Mark Cave has joined local rivals Horsham YMCA, while Jay Lovett has not been able to play a major part since joining due to work commitments.

Beard added: “There is a bit of something about the team again and although the squad is a little bit smaller, there is enjoyment again.

“I am really pleased. There were two or three things I could have done. I could have brought a lot of new players in and changed things that way, but we have tweaked little things and it has worked that way.”