28th Oct, 2016

Town boss Adams happy to shuffle the pack

Stratford Editorial 25th Aug, 2016 Updated: 3 hours ago

MANAGER Carl Adams says he is prepared to show his ruthless side to ensure Stratford Town build up a winning momentum.

The Town manager says he cannot afford to watch below-par individual performances without acting – and feels he has the squad to be able to make changes.

Despite losing eve-of-season signing Mike Taylor to Southern Premier Division neighbours Redditch United, Adams yesterday secured Birmingham City prospect Edji Mbunga.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder, part of Blues’ Development squad, will come into contention for the trip to Kettering Town tomorrow (Saturday) before Town entertain Leamington in a keenly-anticipated derby at the DCS Stadium on Monday (3pm).

Mbunga, who signed a one-year contract in May, had been recommended by Blues Development Squad coach Richard Beale, a pal of Adams, and has joined for an initial month

Town are also pursuing another possible midfield addition before the Bank Holiday.

Adams shuffled his second half line-up against visitors Hitchin Town on Saturday with new roles for summer signings Jordan Cullinane-Liburd at centre back and Warren Brooks as sweeper to replace Emmitt Delfouneso and Liam Francis.

The switch, plus two wonderful goals by Jamie Sheldon, turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory for their first win of the season.

Adams hopes that will prove the catalyst as their demanding early-season fixture list continues against Kettering and Leamington, who are among the pre-season promotion favourites.

“The annoying thing for me as manager is that we played really well at Slough last midweek and came away with a clean sheet but then three days later we are so poor defensively,” said Adams. “That’s why I made changes. I can’t let it carry on.

“I’ve got to be a little bit more ruthless. Last season, I let things run when in hindsight I shouldn’t have done.

“Players can play poorly, of course they can, but if it happens in two or three games in a row then I have to act.”

Dan Summerfield continued his impressive start in a Town shirt with the opening goal against Hitchin, who then led 2-1 after 21 minutes through Liam Brooks and Stuart Pearson.

Sheldon was then Town’s hero with two magnificent strikes, the first a sumptuous 30-yard shot seven minutes before half time and then a delightful curling effort on 54 minuites.

“It was an even game, if I’m honest, and Sheldon has scored two ‘worldies’ to win it,” said Adams.

“Those two great goals covered over some cracks defensively and that’s what we need to work on.

“We can score goals but we need to make the opposition work harder to score against us. We’ve given away too many goals from our own mistakes.”