Lee Hodges sets players 'achievable' target for Truro City to beat drop
Truro City player-manager Lee Hodges has set his side a points target to avoid relegation from Blue Square Bet South.
Hodges, 39, revealed the target to his players ahead of their confidence-boosting 2-2 draw at Dorchester Town on New Year's Day.
The Truro boss – who doubles up as a central defender alongside skipper Jake Ash for basement side City – said: "We have got 22 games to go and we have picked up an away point from the first game since I set them a target that I think is achievable.
"Only the players know it and I don't want it repeated or shouted about. What I would say is that over our next eight games we have got six away and in there we play three of the sides that I really rate."
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One of those teams is second-placed Welling United, who Truro visit today, buoyed by the inclusion of fit-again veteran striker Barry Hayles and the return from suspension of utility player Bobby Hopkinson. Hodges said: "Barry missed out at Dorchester because of a bug and Bobby has finally completed his one-match ban and is back in the mix. We only had 12 at Dorchester so it was a slog again, but Barry and Bobby are both back and we got Martin Watts on for a little while at Dorchester so it's all good.
"We will need everyone we can get at Welling because they are a really good side.
"It's going to be a tough month for us because we play Welling, who are second, then have to go to Salisbury, who are top, in a couple of weeks, and we also play Chelmsford at home at the end of the month and they are a really good side, another side I really rate.
"If we pick up four points or more over the next eight games, I will be surprised, but – that said – this team always surprise me and, if we can get another one or two in, then the squad will be stronger."
Transfer-embargoed Truro are 12 points behind second-bottom Basingstoke Town as they play their second away match of the new year.
Hodges said: "I know it's a big ask to avoid relegation, especially with having the ten points deducted for entering administration.
"But we are under new management now. The new owners are enthusiastic and everyone is pulling in the right direction," he added.
"The players can see that and are doing their bit. At the end of the day, we will be giving it everything we have got to stay in this division.
"No one is expecting us to win at Welling and so we have got nothing to lose."