No laughing matter now, says Attfield

PUBLISHED: 17:25 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:21 04 May 2010

PAUL ATTFIELD: “Two months ago I would have laughed at such a statement.”

PAUL ATTFIELD: “Two months ago I would have laughed at such a statement.”

FOR the first time, Crows boss Paul Attfield has set his sights on promotion back to the South Midlands League Premier Division as Royston made it six wins in a row. But two months ago, the Crows boss says he would have laughed at the idea. Attfield s me

FOR the first time, Crows boss Paul Attfield has set his sights on promotion back to the South Midlands League Premier Division as Royston made it six wins in a row.

But two months ago, the Crows boss says he would have laughed at the idea.

Attfield's men are now unbeaten in eight league games, having taken 22 points from a possible 24 and scoring 30 goals in the process.

And despite falling short of their recent good form, Royston still managed to see off Harpenden Town on Saturday with a 4-0 victory at Garden Walk.

Attfield said: "While I was very pleased with the result, I was a little disappointed with the performance.

"To be honest, it was the worst we have played since I have been at the club, and the two-week break appeared to have done us no favours at all.

"The boys looked jaded and quite off the pace at times, and nowhere near as good as they have been.

"We got two early goals without playing very well, and from then on the game was pretty much killed.

"The second half was a bit better, and it's strange to feel so negative after a 4-0 win, but that is the standard that has been created in recent months. And I want to see that maintained."

And it has been such standards that have seen the young Crows side jump a deserved 11 league places into eighth position.

"As a result we are now in a great position and only nine points behind leaders Hoddesdon Town," said Attfield.

"It has been an impressive rise, and we've deserved every win and every point, and for the first time I think we can realistically be talking about promotion.

"To be honest, two months ago, I would have laughed at such a statement, but since then we have come a long way."

And what is clear from this Royston side is that they certainly know where the goal is with a number of players joining top scorer Craig Hammond in the act.

"We're not having any trouble in front of goal, that's for sure, and while it's obviously very pleasing, it's just as important not to be conceding," said Attfield.

"We've been very tight at the back, and in the eight games we have played we have kept four clean sheets."

"While Craig has been doing well, there are a lot of players who have been getting on the score sheet and that's good for the team - and shows our strength and depth in that department.

"I think the reason behind the goals has been the tempo at which we play, and because of that, teams have struggled to play against us.

"We have been able to open them up and take our chances."

And after praising his team's ability on the pitch, away from it Attfield has targeted the end of February as a make or break period for promotion.

"That's the time I've identified, and if we are there or thereabouts come the end of February, it will be very interesting.

"Before then we have to play five of the current top seven teams, so it's going to be a crucial time.

"There is still a long way to go and there are plenty of points to play for - and if we can continue to play as well as I know we can, we will have a very good chance.

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