St Austell boss wants top marks from his players
IF St Austell are to be consistent challengers for league honours then they need to be earning higher marks from manager Phil Lafferty.
The Lillywhites welcome CSWPL premier division champions Bodmin Town to Poltair Park on Friday night (7.30pm) in what Lafferty expects to be his toughest game yet since taking over the reins in November.
And while the Lillywhites' boss has revealed he has seen a marked improvement from his players since succeeding Dan Nancarrow at his hometown club there is still plenty of room for improvement.
He said: "We need players who are getting better marks, eights, nines and tens.
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"At the moment we are getting sixes one week and eights and nines the next. If we want to be challenging the Bodmins and Plymouth Parkways of this world then we need to be performing well on a weekly basis. We need to find that consistency.
"When you look at teams like Bodmin they treat every game the same. They go out to win whenever they play.
"It was never going to happen overnight but I have seen a big improvement since I arrived and hopefully that will continue."
Lafferty and Bodmin boss Darren Gilbert remain two of the most passionate managers in Peninsula League football, and while Friday night's game promises to be an intriguing match-up on and off the field, there is also a mutual respect between the two.
Lafferty added: "Darren Gilbert is a top manager, who has done a fantastic job at Bodmin.
"People say Bodmin aren't the side they once were. I think that's complete rubbish.
"They are a great team and we will need to be at the very top of our game if we want to get anything from it."
After last night's game at home to Ivybridge Town in the Throgmorton Cup was postponed, Lafferty will have a full strength squad to choose from on Friday.
And it is likely to include two young players Lafferty is keen to involve from the second team.
Central defender Josh Yelland and striker Tyler Cheshire are likely to be among the substitutes as St Austell look to return to winning ways after losing 2-1 at Exmouth Town last month.
Lafferty said: "I want to do what is right for the club and give as many local players the chance to play.
"If a town this size cannot tap into talent in the area then it's a sad state of affairs."
St Austell's game against Ivybridge has been rescheduled for February 18. If that tie also falls foul of the weather the fixture will be staged at Ivybridge at a later date.