Aylesbury FC were in need of a shake-up to turn their floundering season around.
That is the verdict of Moles boss Craig Faulconbridge who publicly criticised some of his team and demanded improvement a week ago.
Whatever words it was from Faulconbridge’s lengthy and passionate statement released in the wake of their FA Cup thrashing at the hands of Shortwood, they worked.
The Moles bounced back to win their next two games and were aiming to make it three on the trot when they travelled to Marlow in the Berks and Bucks Cup on Tuesday night.
And Faulconbridge, who was starting to come under pressure for his team’s displays, says changes were made to freshen things up.
“I’ve never said my players were not good enough but I have questioned some attitudes and the application I had seen, particularly when games got tough, when things didn’t go our way, games that separate the men from the boys so to speak,” he said.
“We have had a little bit of a shake-up and it has given us a new energy and impetus and we are playing with confidence.”
Against Northwood on Saturday the only goal of the game came on the half hour mark from defender Ben Stevens who was just as instrumental in securing another all-important clean sheet, both on and off the pitch.
“You can’t put a price on Ben,” Faulconbridge enthused.
“Ben is Mr Aylesbury FC, he really is. We have missed him while he was injured, not just his quality on the ball but his leadership and the way he is with other players.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him, he’s a really good lad and a proper, proper player.
“On Saturday he picked up a knock but there was no question of him coming off. He wanted to carry on and was prepared to stay on to make sure the team got the clean sheet.
“Even when we brought him off his attitude and watching him being vocal on the sidelines, it was great to see,” Faulconbridge added.
After the Marlow cup game on Tuesday night next up for FC is the visit of Ashford Town.
Faulconbridge said irrespective of what competition his side are playing in, players now know what is expected of them each time they pull on the red and black shirt.
He said: “We have turned things around, turned a corner and we need to keep that up now, the players know each first team game is important.”
MARLOW CUP PREVIEW:
Faulconbridge said tonight’s match at Marlow is as important as any other game and insists he will put out the strongest possible side.
“Tonight’s game (Tuesday) is massive to keep the momentum going,” he said.
“We’ve had two wins and two clean sheets and a clean sheet at Marlow will be our first port of call. The Berks and Bucks Cup is just as important. It is a first team game and the competition is irrelevant, I want to win every game.
“I will put out the strongest possible team, it won’t be a case of playing youngsters and giving the first team a rest, we go there to win.”