MATCH PREVIEW: Henderson expects a tough clash against Wimborne Lambs are in great form with 18 goals in last four league games
THE old adage is to never change a winning team but for manager Stuart Henderson, it is more a case of a balancing act between keeping a winning team and keeping things fresh for high-flying Tavi.
The Lambs are in scintillating form right now and moved up to second place in the Southern League Division One table with a superb 7-3 win at Lymington Town in midweek. It is now 18 goals in the last four league games for free-scoring Tavi, but their good form of late will be put to the test by Wimborne Town on Saturday.
Wimborne were one of the favourites for promotion at the start of the season, but their campaign has not gone to plan. It led to a managerial change, with the appointment of Hamworthy’s former Torquay United striker Tim Sills, and things have certainly improved with the Magpies unbeaten in their last four matches.
“We have played three of the eight games we have got in November and Saturday and Wednesday will be tough games for us,” Henderson said, with Bashley to come in midweek. “Wimborne are a good outfit, they parted with their manager earlier in the season and appointed Tim Sills, who used to play for Torquay United of course, and he’s taken with him a couple of players form Hamworthy.
“They have had some good results, so I am expecting a tough game. Tim did a great job at Hamworthy and he has a good budget there at Wimborne. I don’t want to keep talking about budgets, because it’s not all about budgets, but it certainly helps. They are one of the big hitters and they are a club that is expected to do quite well.
“I can understand that, although Hamworthy are above Wimborne in the table, you can see the attraction and the bigger picture and I can understand why he wanted to move.”
As for Tavi, they don’t have the resources or budget of a club like Wimborne, but find themselves in second place on merit. Henderson’s shrewd acquisitions have gelled well with his long-serving loyalists and with a team spirit that is second to none, it all contributes to a successful football team.
“We don’t get the biggest crowds, or the biggest budgets, it’s a group of lads of seven or eight lads that started on the journey with me seven or eight years ago, we have a fantastic team spirit and a way of playing,” Henderson said of Tavi’s success. “We are familiar with a couple of different shapes and we feel confident we can be competitive in the league.
“That’s what we want to be and if we are in this position in January or February, then we can maybe take ourselves a bit more seriously. At the moment, we are notching the games off one at a time.
“We know that when we are not at our best, like we were at Hamworthy, the quality is sufficient that we can get beaten by a big scoreline but ultimately, we are in a good run at the moment and the lads should be full of confidence.”
Keeping everyone happy is the challenge facing Henderson and as he knows so well, when everyone is fit and firing, they all want to play.
“It’s difficult because everyone is really committed, the boys love football and their attitude to training, going out and doing runs and sending in what they have done and what have you is superb,” he said.
“That’s a big factor in why we’ve been successful, but they are naturally disappointed when they are not starting and when everyone is available, one or two don’t even make the squad.
“But it is a long old season, there are 38 games in the league and we are still in the FA Trophy and Devon Bowl, so it’s important to remind them that it is about the squad, everyone will have a part to play and I will rotate it and use everyone to keep everyone interested and motivated.”
To view our official matchday programme for the clash with Wimborne, click on the link below: