We look more like a team now, let’s put a run of results together - that’s the message from Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola.
The Hornets achieved a dramatic late victory over Chipstead on Saturday to propel themselves up the Ryman League South Division table.
It was their second success of the season and although they followed it up with a 2-0 defeat at Burgess Hill in the Alan Turvey Trophy on Tuesday night, Di Paola is impressed with the signs of improvement.
They have added experienced midfielder Scott Kirkwood to their ranks, after his departure from Hillians last month, and the team is starting to gel.
Di Paola said: “We are ok, we just need a run of results, I think we look a lot more like a team than what we did in those opening weeks. We do need to get results though, there is no point playing well and picking up no points.
“On Tuesday night it was probably the best we have played. The pressure seemed off, perhaps because it was a cup game. It was a good football performance if the result was not there.
“We have got to keep working hard as a side and at last in games we are seeing some signs of improvement.
“The team is getting to know each other as it was a team of strangers at the start of the season.
“We are up for working as hard as we can to keep improving and if players like Scott Kirkwood become available, then we will improve the squad. Looking at the squad now, it is more of a squad that we need to compete.”
Two still missing, however, are Mark Knee and Adam Hunt, having not featured through injury yet this season.
Defender Knee is showing signs of improvement, but Hunt is suspected of having the same stomach injury as returnee Tony Nwachukwu.
Di Paola added: “It’s a shame for Hunty in particular as he has worked ever-so-hard to play at this level. Kneesy is a key player with experience and quality.
“Going into this league we would have been a different team had he been fit. Both are big players in the changing room.”
The Hornets travel to Sittingbourne on Saturday, before facing at Sussex derby at Three Bridges on Tuesday.
Di Paola added: “ Saturday will be tough, they are a good side with good players. I don’t want to dismiss last year’s league, but I think it’s a lot stronger now.
“Your Greenwich Boroughs, Hastings are always strong, but you have some serious teams and serious players that have dropped down to play this level.
“Every side has got some really good players in it.”
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