Buckland believes teams 'seem to raise their game' at Horsham YMCA as they look to rectify poor home form against Pagham

Horsham YMCA's Ash Dugdale will miss their home game against Pagham in the Premier Division on Saturday. Picture by Steve Robards.
Horsham YMCA's Ash Dugdale will miss their home game against Pagham in the Premier Division on Saturday. Picture by Steve Robards.

Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland believes that sides 'seem to raise their game' when playing at Gorings Mead ahead of their home clash with tenth-placed Pagham in the Premier Division on Saturday.

YMCA are currently on a six-game winless run at home, with their last victory coming against Little Common on November 24, while the Lions are unbeaten in three on their travels.

On top of sides seemingly raising their game at YM, Buckland is also of the opinion that the constant chopping-and-changing of players and tactics has not helped rectify their patchy home performances.

He said: "It seems that almost anyone we play at home, and I don't know if it's because we have lovely facilities and pitch and all that, but they seem to raise their game.

"That might sound as though I'm flattering ourselves but they do.

SEE ALSO Leicester City's title-winning season can inspire Horsham YMCA amid rumours second-place could seal promotion | Horsham YMCA were 'chomping at the bit' to play in postponed Loxwood game | Horsham YMCA boss blasts 'horrendous decisions' in draw with ten-man Saltdean United
"It's been a combination of players coming in-and-out, in-and-out, and not having a settled starting XI in a settled formation.

"On Saturday (in their 1-1 home draw with Lingfield) we were without Ash Dugdale, Callum Donaghey, Tom Gilbert, Tony Nwachukwu, so we were forced to play a 4-4-2 formation with the players that were available, which doesn't really suit us.

"We got exposed in the first-half in midfield with just two in the middle, and they played three in the middle. We packed the midfield out in the second-half and I think that, as much as a rollicking, contributed towards getting a foothold in the game.

"After the second-half they came off reasonably high-spirited. We will get together and get ready for Saturday, and then we've got an important cup semi-final (against AFC Uckfield Town in the Peter Bentley Cup) on the Wednesday night."

The recent glut of injuries at YM has seen a number of their under-23 squad, including Leon Eales and Ashley Wadhams, make the step up to the first-team.

Buckland was pleased that he had been able to introduce these players to the senior set-up, but was just as happy that he would have nearly a full-strength team to pick from against Pagham.

He added: "Any club that doesn't phase in the under-23 players, it's pointless having an under-23 team otherwise.

"We're trying to phase them in a bit now moving forward. We would have done this even if we were at the top or bottom-of-the-league.

"This Saturday, with the exception of Ash and Callum I think we will have everyone available.

"We will be able to play the formation that we want and I'm expecting a real turnaround."