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Bostik Premier: Steve Baker happy with Harrow Borough’s start, but that’s all it is!

PUBLISHED: 13:30 16 August 2017

Harrow Borough players embrace Charles Banya after he puts his team ahead against Wingate & Finchley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Harrow Borough players embrace Charles Banya after he puts his team ahead against Wingate & Finchley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

The Reds new-look side appear to have gelled quickly and sit top of the table after two games

Michael Bryan of Harrow Borough and Ahmet Rifat of Wingate & Finchley battle for the ball (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).Michael Bryan of Harrow Borough and Ahmet Rifat of Wingate & Finchley battle for the ball (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Steve Baker is pleased his new-look Harrow Borough team have won their opening two matches of the Bostik Premier campaign, but knows they have plenty more work to do.

The Reds made it back-to-back victories in the division with a 3-1 success away to local rivals Wingate & Finchley last night.

Kurtis Cumberbatch, Charles Banya and Ant O’Connor netted at the Maurice Rebak Stadium to give Harrow bragging rights and send them top.

“It is a good start, but at the minute that’s all it is. I know it is a cliché, but we can’t get carried away,” said Baker.

“Bearing in mind how things transpired last season, we made lots of changes this summer and only kept four and brought in 13 or 14 new faces and you don’t know how it is going to go.

“But we had a good pre-season and the boys all settled in quite well and the first two performances I have been pleased with, so it has gone well.”

Harrow have had a busy summer after finding out they had been given a reprieve from relegation in May.

The Reds finished 21st last season – the final spot in the bottom four – on goal difference, but were given a lifeline and remained in the division.

After reflecting during the summer, Baker decided to oversee a major overhaul of his squad at Earlsmead Stadium.

Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker during their Bostik Premier match with Wingate & Finchley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker during their Bostik Premier match with Wingate & Finchley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

The immediate result seems positive with Harrow holding a 100 per cent record after two games against teams which finished in the top-10 last time out.

Baker added: “The key thing behind the change in personnel was to prevent a hangover from last season. I was going to do it anyway because I wasn’t happy with quite a few of them towards the end of the campaign.

“Given what I got out of some of them in the last three or four weeks was nothing short of a disgrace, it meant we needed to get more in.

“It is a gamble to make that many changes because sometimes it is ‘the better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’ but it didn’t work like that last season.

“We said from the start it would be a clean slate and we needed a new squad in and we have four or five lads who are really hungry to prove themselves at this level.

“They have either been released by other clubs or not played much recently and we have given them an opportunity.

“We made it clear to them that we couldn’t afford to pay what some other clubs might, but if they did well then they would get chances and one or two have showed that already.”

Although it is early days, what is extremely pleasing for Harrow is the telepathy which already seems present amongst his squad.

Even though most of the players are summer additions, everyone seems to know their job and some of the goals they produced at Wingate didn’t seem to be from a side that’s only just got together.

“We didn’t have big numbers for pre-season on purpose because I knew who I wanted to bring in and we wanted to get them playing with each other as quickly as possible,” said Baker.

“Sometimes when you put a new side together it can take a little bit of time to gel or sometimes it does click. A few did know each other before coming in and had played together at other clubs. We have done some work on the training ground too and it has gone well so far.”

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