04:00PM, Thursday 06 February 2020
Alan Devonshire insists Maidenhead United’s players can’t afford to relax, or believe they’ve already got the job done, after moving seven points clear of the relegation places with Saturday’s 2-0 win over Solihull Moors.
The Magpies lifted themselves to 17th in the table, and put further distance between themselves and the bottom four, thanks to second half strikes from James Akintunde and Ody Alfa.
But Devonshire knows that things can change pretty quickly in the National League, with the side in a precarious looking position just two weeks ago, after defeats to Halifax Town and Harrogate Town. So, while the players are enjoying a much-needed weekend off due to Ebbsfleet United’s involvement in the FA Trophy this weekend, they’ll be no let-up from the management team as they bid to cement their National League spot in the coming weeks.
Their next two games see them travel to AFC Fylde on Saturday week (February 15) before welcoming Aldershot Town to York Road the following Saturday (February 22). Winnable games, but as Devonshire is fond of saying, ‘there are no easy games in the National League’.
“They’re all big games,” said Devonshire, looking ahead to the clash.
“We’re not going to go down if we get a bad result against Fylde or against Aldershot.
“It’s about the accumulation of points. We’re in good form at the moment and hopefully with a break it should freshen us up a bit more.
“We know Fylde have got a big budget and they reached the play-off final last year.
“They’re a good side. This (safety) ain’t going to be done on just one game.”
With the re-arranged Ebbsfleet game still to be squeezed into the side’s congested calendar, Maidenhead have some big games to play in February and early March, matches that will decide if they’re to scrap it out for survival or push for a top half finish.
“It was great to back up what we did against Eastleigh,” said Devonshire.
“We defended really well again and had a threat going forward so yeah, it was a perfect afternoon.
“We brought the lads in and I’m quite happy with what (the squad) we’ve got. There’s maybe one more player to come in, I don’t know. Just to make sure we’re OK in most areas, but it’s pleasing at the moment and the squad’s looking OK. We now have four wide boys. We’ve got Shamir (Fenelon), we’ve got Josh (Kelly), we’ve got Aki (Akintunde) and we’ve got Ody (Alfa). It gives us options and the ability to change things if we need to. Jaydn (Mundle-Smith) also came in. He’s a left back but he can play at centre back and cover a lot of places. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him and that’s why he started on Saturday. He’s done well.”
“I’m just really pleased that the lads have settled down and I’m sure they’ll get better.”
Devonshire won’t get carried away with his side’s performances over the last two games, just as he didn’t get too down when they lost to Halifax, Harrogate, and then Halesowen in the FA Trophy.
“It’s just one performance,” he said of Saturday’s game.
“There’s still a long way to go and lots of points to fight for. You can’t relax in this league because it’s relentless. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing and hopefully get the points we need to stay up. It’s too tough a league (to relax) and there are some big clubs still around us.
“We’ve just got to take one game at a time and try and accumulate as many points as we can. We’re seven points off the relegation places but also seven or eight points off the play-offs.
“We want to win as many games as we can and hopefully then we’ll move up the league.”
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