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Hendon chief says club are replicating form from 2014-2015 promotion challenge

PUBLISHED: 14:35 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:14 30 November 2016

Hendon chairman Simon Lawrence has been encouraged by the club's recent form.

Hendon chairman Simon Lawrence has been encouraged by the club's recent form.

Archant

Hendon chairman Simon Lawrence believes the club have started to replicate the kind of performances they put together during their 2014-2015 promotion challenge.

After a disappointing start to the season in the Ryman League Premier Division, the Greens found themselves struggling towards the wrong end of the table - but performances have improved dramatically in recent weeks.

Gary McCann’s men, who travel to Harlow Town tonight, are unbeaten in four matches after following up their Middlesex Senior Cup victory over Northwood by beating high-flying Leiston and Bognor Regis Town on the road, while picking up a point at home to Canvey Island in the middle of that winning league sequence.

Lawrence has been encouraged by the upturn in form and, although he is remaining realistic about the Dons’ ambitions this term, the performances have reminded him of happy days in the club’s not too distant past.

He told the Times: “As chairman of the club it was a very gratifying FA Cup run and just what the club needed at that time.

“In terms of our league form, up until the last two games I’d have said it had been a disappointing season to date, but we’d shown a huge amount of potential in what is a very exciting squad, but for whatever reason we hadn’t started to fulfil that.

“A fortnight ago we were in the bottom four and had a lot of work to do to get out of the predicament we were in.

“In the last week or so we have played three of the top five sides and shown we can mix it with the best sides in this division.

“We’ve started to solidify as a squad and be a lot more robust and defensively disciplined, while not losing our ability to score goals and win games.

“The two performances at Leiston and Bognor in particular were very similar to the type of performances we were delivering week in week out during the 2014-2015 season.

“In the last few weeks the performances and results have drastically improved, so hopefully we’ve turned the corner now. Once again I feel Gary has transformed the squad - something which he has done very successfully on numerous occasions during his time at the club.”

While the Greens look to have recovered from their major dip in form, they remain nine points off the play-offs, and Lawrence admits a top-five finish is not a realistic target at the moment - although that could change if Hendon can put together a winning sequence in the new year.

He added: “I see it as only three levels of performance - promotion, relegation and in between. The minimum expectation is that we don’t end up in one of the relegation spots.

“There are some very good sides in this division, and many who are far better resourced than what we are.

“We’re some way off the play-offs so it would be a bit too optimistic, as things stand, to say our expectation is to finish in the top five come the end of the season. We’ve got an awful lot to do to achieve that feat. It’s not out of the question but it’s unlikely as it stands.

“With Gary’s experience and expertise, as well as the quality in this squad, I would expect this side to not be involved in a relegation battle come the end of the season, though.

“If we’re able to put together a run of 10 to 12 games and find ourselves in seventh or eighth, we’d obviously have a real chance of challenging for promotion, but that’s a long way off at the moment.”


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