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Walsham-le-Willows boss enjoyed seeing his side return to winning ways in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division

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Walsham-le-Willows manager Fergus O’Callaghan is pleased with his team after they returned from Brantham Athletic having bounced back from successive defeats in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, writes James Walker.

The 2-1 win sends his players into tomorrow’s meeting with FC Clacton at the Morrish Sports Ground (3pm)positive mindset.

O’Callaghan said: “The boys are very upbeat, there’s a lot more energy in the dressing room and a lot more competition for places.”

FOOTBALL: Newmarket Town v Walsham Walsham manager Fergus O'Callaghan. Picture by Mark Westley. (22362520)
FOOTBALL: Newmarket Town v Walsham Walsham manager Fergus O'Callaghan. Picture by Mark Westley. (22362520)

Kieran Hagan, the only signing the manager has made since his appointment, scored a late winner on Saturday alongside a goal from from Ryan Clark.

On the overall improvement since he took over in October, the Walsham boss said: “We’ve raised the bar in terms of detail and the team shape.”

When commenting on his side’s two losses, he felt they did not reach the levels set in previous matches, while admitting that his team, like many others this season, possibly struggled to adapt to Newmarket Town’s 3G surface.

Despite struggling with the pitch, O’Callaghan has called on his more experienced heads to stand up and motivate the younger players when games are not going their way.

He said: “When games aren’t going to plan we need our leaders like Sam Peters, Ian Miller and Craig Nurse to step up and raise the bar for our younger lads; we couldn’t find another gear against Hadleigh and Newmarket.

“On the day Hadleigh had more guile, more desire and more heartbeat throughout the team, but overall I can’t fault the boys.”

O’Callaghan said he is delighted with Walsham’s youth players who have forced their way into the first-team picture.

He said: “At the minute, the young boys are coming through who have made a great impact, which is superb because they have come from within the club.

“I am still finding out about their best positions but at the moment I am very happy with the squad I have.”

With Hagan being the manager’s only signing to date, he has said he may look into bringing in more bodies in the new year when the pitches get tougher.

But he insists while the chairman and himself have targets in mind, they will only recruit if they deem it necessary to improve the current squad. In the meantime, the Walsham manager is still learning about his side’s players who came over in the summer.

With a win at home to Clacton this weekend, Walsham could go into the Christmas break as high as 11th place – an impressive improvement considering he succeeded Trevor Newman in October with the side three points adrift at the bottom.

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