Dominic Di Paola feels his new-look ‘happier’ Horsham squad have the ‘hunger’ and desire that was missing from some players earlier in the season.
There have been plenty of comings and goings at the Hornets’ temporary headquarters in Lancing over the past month and the club believe they are now better placed.
An 8-0 hammering by Cray Wanderers in the FA Trophy back in early October sparked improved performances and then an unbeaten six-game run in all competitions.
A wonderful 2-1 win came at Faversham Town on Saturday, before a blot on the copy book in the form of a 4-1 loss at Chipstead on Tuesday night.
While admitting they were second best in that defeat, Di Paola is pleased with the overall recent improvements in attitude and personal.
He said: “The ones that have committed, come in on loan or signed permanently, credit to those boys and credit to Wezzo (assistant Adam Westwood).
“We are far happier now, we know we are not going to win every week - it would be mental to think that - but we can compete and play football now and have strengths of our own.
“The boys could have had a very different approach and bottled it after that Cray Wanderers defeat. A lot of other clubs would have taken our players, but the ones that are here have dug in.
“We have not really done anything league-wise in the table, but I just want us to keep working hard and wanting to be better. I think maybe some of the people here before did not really want to play which is not right.
“Some were turning up and not wanting to play, but the boys that have come in have that hunger. We are playing a bit of football, the boys have some belief and togetherness, which is what we are all about.”
Matt Nezval has returned to Burgess Hill after his loan spell and Hakeem Adelakun will also return to the Hillians at the end of the week. George Landais’ loan from Lewes has been extended for another month until the end of Novmeber.
Injury wise, Di Paola has had the luxury of resting Darren Boswell in the last two games, while Jack Newhouse will return to training this week. Charlie Oatway is a week away, Charlie Farmer has picked up a slight knock, while Joe Keehan still has a knee problem.
Being out of the FA Trophy means Horsham have no game on Saturday and Di Paola added: “It was four wins and two draws before Tuesday, we have no game now Saturday which I am really annoyed about as you just want to play again.
“We’ll have to train now and go again Tuesday night against Hastings (at home). It was just not good enough against Chipstead and the boys knew at half-time and you could see they were disappointed. It was a dressing room where they all knew they had not played well.”