Horsham must 'get back up to speed' again ahead of Faversham Town clash after enforced Christmas break

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola. SR1720470. Picture by Steve Robards
Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola. SR1720470. Picture by Steve Robards

Horsham must 'get back up to speed' after an enforced quiet Christmas spell, according to manager Dominic Di Paola.

The Hornets have played just twice over the festive and new year spell with an unusual nine-day break and seen their Bostik League South East Division play-off aspirations slip.

An impressive run had seen them reach second spot in December, but a winless two-game run including a 2-0 loss at Haywards Heath on December 22 and 1-1 draw with Guernsey on New Year's Day have seen them slip to fourth in the tight play-off positions.

Hastings United sit second on 37 points, seven behind leaders Cray Wanderers, while Whyteleafe, Horsham and Haywards Heath all have 32 points.

Di Paola believes that having no Boxing Day gave and limited training abilities over the festive period due to unavailability of Oakwood and Culver Road has seen their levels slip slightly.

He said: "One thing we do need to do is get back up to speed, though. We have had nine days over before the Guernsey game and it looked it. Although we have trained, there is no substitute for match football, so we need to just get up to full speed again.

"Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will help us do that again. Working hard on Tuesdays and doing more practical stuff on the Thursday."

Horsham travel to Salters Lane on Saturday to face a third-from bottom Faversham Town. Horsham's previously dire record against Kent sides in the league has been much improved although they face recently-appointed new managers in Phil Miles and Danny Chapman replacing the long-serving Ray Turner.

On the challenge, Di Paola said: "They have had new managers in the past few weeks and that is always very difficult as there is always an announcement coming on Fridays saying they have signed two or three new players.

"I do not know a massive amount about them, but we are going to have a look at them this week and go from there.

"We are away from home at their place and we know what the Kent sides are all about. I say it every week, there is never an easy game in this league.

"No-one could think the Guernsey game was going to be easy. A few people came to watch, who don't normally watch us and speaking to them afterwards, they couldn't believe Guernsey are where they are in the table.