22nd Feb, 2020

Lots of work still to be done insists United manager Byfield

Liam Moakes 31st Aug, 2017 Updated: 31st Aug, 2017

WE WON’T get carried away – that is the message from Redditch United manager Darren Byfield despite his side’s encouraging start to the Southern League Premier Division campaign.

The Reds produced a sparkling display to thump Dorchester Town 4-0 at the Trico Stadium on Saturday before battling to a goalless draw at an impressive Stratford Town on Monday.

The results stand Byfield’s men fifth in the table with ten points from five games and mean the struggles of the second half of the last campaign are a distant memory.

However, the boss is keen to keep the expectations of supporters realistic despite the positive signs.

“Saturday was our best performance of the season so far. We were very patient in our play against a Dorchester side who were waiting to hit us on the break and we defended and attacked very impressively,” said Byfield.

“We got the opening goal at the right time and played with a maturity that was not there last season. The lads’ attitude has been superb.

“However, this is a tough, tough league and we know that, if we even begin to think we’ve cracked things, that we’ll come unstuck instantly.”

After goals from Dior Angus, Vinny Mukendi and Spencer Weir-Daley (2) had secured an ultimately comfortable victory on Saturday, the Reds were given a stern examination by a confident Stratford side two days later and a draw was a fair result despite United striker Danico Johnson hitting the hosts’ bar two minutes from time.

Byfield continued: “It’s a case of learning as you go and there was evidence of that at Stratford. They are a good side and in many ways it was similar to the Kettering game, only this time we didn’t get beaten and almost snatched victory at the death.

“It was a game we’d have lost last season. The players showed great character and I’m pleased with our return of ten points from five matches, having scored 12 goals and conceded just two.

“My only disappointment so far is losing Vinny Mukendi to a knee injury. He was hurt after scoring on Saturday and we missed him at Stratford.

“He’s a powerful and creative player and I have my fingers crossed he isn’t out for too long. If he is, I will probably need to look at bringing in a replacement.”

The Reds now turn their attentions to attempting to halt their miserable FA Cup record when they visit Lincoln United in a first qualifying round tie on Saturday.

United have exited the world’s most famous cup competition at their first hurdle in six successive seasons and will be desperate to halt that sequence at their Northern League Division One South hosts.

“I am well aware of the FA Cup disappointments Redditch have suffered in recent years and we need to put it right,” added Byfield.

“I’ve watched Lincoln and they are a strong and organised side. However, if our attitude is right, we are more than capable of getting the job done.”

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