Horsham boss Di Paola hopes season doesn't 'fizzle out'
Dominic Di Paola is desperate for Horsham’s season not to ‘fizzle out’ following their patchy run of form in recent weeks.
The Hornets made a blistering start to their first BetVictor Premier Division campaign in seven years.
A six-game unbeaten run from September 14 to October 12 saw Horsham defy all pre-season predictions and top the table.
Defeat at Bishop’s Stortford saw the run come to an end but the Yellows then embarked on five-game unbeaten streak, from October 19 to November 16, to put them well in contention for automatic promotion.
But an unkind run of fixtures, coupled with a loss of form over the past seven weeks, has seen the Hornets drop to third – albeit still performing well above expectations.
Horsham have suffered defeats at promotion rivals Folkestone Invicta, Worthing and Hornchurch.
Last Saturday saw the Hornets fall to a surprise 1-0 loss at lowly Merstham, allowing play-off hopefuls like Carshalton Athletic and Cray Wanderers to gain ground.
In fact, since November 30, Horsham have won just three of their last eight league games.
But Di Paola wasn’t overly concerned by recent results.
The Horsham manager had ‘expected a spell like this’ and admitted that, considering injuries and unavailability, he was still proud of his team for picking up victories.
However, after such an electric start to the season, Di Paola hoped Horsham didn’t go ‘off the boil’ in their play-off hunt.
He said: “Everyone loses games. Everyone drops points.
“We’re having a little spell where we can’t get a run of results.
“We’ve expected a spell like this all season. We’ve had a bad six weeks but we’ve still won games.
“Even during this spell where it’s not been ideal we’ve still picked up points.
“We seem to be really up down in terms of our performance but a lot of that is down to player availability and fitness. People asked on Saturday, why Charlie (Harris) was on the bench but he’s now unavailable for nearly three weeks.
“Charlie is in Australia so we’ve got to prepare without him.
“We’ve got a good bunch of boys and they’ve done really well. I just don’t want us to go off the boil.
“I think we’ve won three out of eight but at the beginning of the season we would have been aiming at just over a point a game.
“We’ve just got to try to reset and get a spell of consistency. If we get a spell of consistency we’ll get a spell of results.
“I’m desperate for this to not fizzle out and for us to play good football and progress.”