Loxwood reap the benefit of 'a tighter-knit group of players' as they move away from the drop zone

Loxwood boss Alex Walsh. Picture by Steve Robards.
Loxwood boss Alex Walsh. Picture by Steve Robards.

Loxwood boss Alex Walsh has put his club's recent upturn in form down to 'a tighter-knit group of players' ahead of Saturday's Premier Division home clash against Saltdean United.

Until Tuesday night's 3-2 home defeat against near-neighbours Horsham YMCA the Magpies had put together a four-game unbeaten run in the league, suffering defeat only once in six games.

This improvement in performances has seen the Plaistow Road-outfit move from second-from-bottom to 15th, and they now sit six points clear of the relegation zone.

Loxwood's results had been relatively indifferent up until mid-January but now they find themselves as one of the form teams in the division.

Walsh said: "We had a good start and we had a little bit of a blip in January but I think training twice a week has helped.

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"Mainly it's been down to a good work ethic in training and a tighter-knit group of players.

"Everyone has been committed to it and we're getting good numbers at training on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"Everyone seems to be getting along and, as cliche as it sound, when you win games it just raises the mood within the camp.

"Everyone seems excited to go to training and people know there's competition for places now, and that's improved everyone five, ten per cent because we've got a stronger squad than we had."

Despite Walsh now reaping the benefits of a happier camp, the Magpies were inconsistent in the opening months of his tenure.

Walsh stepped into replace former boss Gareth Neathey on October 31 and the Loxwood manager admitted that it was a struggle to get results as he adjusted to life at Plaistow Road.

He added: "When you first come into the job, you try and find a winning formula. You're rotating and you're chopping and changing.

"Because I didn't have a pre-season it was hard to see what our best shape was, what the best position for everybody was, what the dynamics were within the group so I think it's just taken a little bit of time."