DARREN BYFIELD revealed he has ‘not one ounce of doubt’ that his new-look Redditch United team will give everything for the cause throughout the campaign on the evidence of what he has seen in the Reds’ opening three Southern League Premier Division fixtures.
United bounced back from their unfortunate last-gasp defeat at Kettering Town to record a highly impressive 3-1 victory at Farnborough on Saturday and the manager was thrilled with both the result and performance.
Redditch took the lead in first half injury time when Albanian Andi Thanoj fired home from the penalty spot past replacement keeper Luke Cairney after home stopper Liam Stone had been sent off for bringing down Kevin Monteiro.
Dior Angus then netted his fourth goal of the campaign on the hour mark with a curling strike before Spencer Weir-Daley’s late strike wrapped up the points after Perry Coles had reduced the hosts’ arrears moments earlier.
“We’ve played three games and done nothing yet, nobody knows that more than myself,” said Byfield. “However, I am absolutely delighted with the way the boys have gone about things.
“All three games have pleased me for different reasons. With Dunstable, they’ve got some difficult times at the moment and have a lot of youngsters in the squad, but my boys went about things in a thoroughly professional manner on the opening day of the season.
“Then against Kettering, who I have no doubt will be right up there at the end of the season, we went toe-to-toe with them and were so unfortunate to lose at the death. I was gutted for the boys to come away empty-handed and the praise from the opposition management told me everything I needed to know.
“I had the lads together on the pitch afterwards and told them I could not be prouder of them and to keep going about things the same way.
“That’s exactly what they did in a very tough game at Farnborough. The confidence they played with on the back of such a disappointing end to the previous game was so important to see.
“We could and should have been 3-0 up even before their keeper was sent off.
“Last season, if my memory serves me right, we never once won a match immediately after losing one. This time around, we’ve done it at the first time of asking.”
After an encouraging start to the campaign, Byfield now knows he cannot afford to let complacency creep into the ranks, but he does not see this being an issue.
“I believe these boys will give everything every time they play. I do not have one ounce of doubt about that,” added the former Premier League striker.
“We’ve got two challenging games coming up over the Bank Holiday with Dorchester at home on Saturday and then Stratford away on Monday, but we are confident. We need to stay grounded and maintain our work ethic because we’ve got some talented players in this squad.”
Byfield was reluctant to praise individuals but, when pressed, highlighted former National League midfielder Thanoj who was highly impressive on his debut at Farnborough.
“Andi is a superb player, real quality. He’s another level really and I’m thrilled to have him. He is a top, top player and I’m determined to keep him,” added Byfield.
Meanwhile, the Reds have been drawn to visit Northern Premier League Division One South outfit Lincoln United in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday, September 2. The winners will pocket £3,000.