RUGBY Town boss Gary Moran is putting on a brave face and maintaining a positive outlook despite seeing his new side lost again on Tuesday evening.
The 3-0 mid-week home defeat to Market Drayton came after Valley had done well to battle for a point at Stocksbridge on Saturday.
Moran was keen to highlight the long term nature of the rebuild process he is currently undertaking following previous boss James Jepson’s resignation in September and the subsequent exodus of a significant majority of the playing squad.
“I’m not too disheartened at the moment,” said Moran. “We always knew it was going to be a gradual process and things were not going to change overnight.
“I believe that I have now got the players that I want at this football club and ones with experience of what it needs to succeed at this level, but it is going to take time to mould them into a team.
“We have to remember they have only played one or two times together as a unit, and they put in an excellent performance at Stocksbridge at the weekend in the circumstances.
“I accept that this dropped a bit on Tuesday, but their goal on the stroke of half-time was the real blow.”
The latest Butlin Road reverse meant it was four losses in four home league outings so far this season for Valley, as they languish at the foot of the NPL South Division table with just five points from ten games.
Town are three points adrift of Stamford and Carlton, and Moran accepts that it is important to not let the situation drift too far.
He continued: “Obviously we can’t let it dip too much, and we pick up points wherever we can. We have a lot of home games coming up in the next month, so it is vital that we turn Butlin Road into a fortress and that starts by not conceding soft goals like we did on Tuesday.
“The players need to be patient of course and not get frustrated, but I believe that we have a good dressing room now and the squad are building a real togetherness, which will be crucial in the coming weeks.”
The two games over the past week saw another nine players make their Valley competitive debuts – in addition to the returning Craig Kelly, who made his first Town start after a more than a year at Bedworth.
Kelly was joined in last Saturday’s opening 11 by a trio of one-time Stratford Town men, Emmitt Delfouneso, Anthony Charles and Joe Halsall, as Moran looked to his old club connections for a solution to Rugby’s current crisis situation.
Tuesday evening’s line-up saw a start for Birmingham City prospect Edji Mbunga, after the teenager signed on loan for Town.
Coach Scott Hadland, Blaize Punter, Louis Hamilton, Leigh Phillips and Kyle Rowley all made their Rugby debuts from the bench across the two most recent games – taking the total of players used this season to 47 from just 15 games.
Moran is hoping that striker David Kolodynski is fit again to face the visit of Belper to Butlin Road this weekend, after the club’s all-time leading senior goalscorer sat out his first game of the season on Tuesday evening with a hamstring injury.
Kolodynski could be joined up front by another new signing Chris Sterling, after Moran confirmed the likely arrival of the ex-Stratford, Tividale and Sutton Coldfield marksman ahead of the weekend.