Handsworth boss targets top three finish

Toolstation NCEL Premier Division 

Handsworth manager Russ Eagle

Russ Eagle has set his sights on guiding Handsworth to a top three finish.

Eagle said at the start of the campaign that top five was his goal.

However, the incredible FA Cup run and their fine league start of five wins and two losses has made him target loftier heights.

“If we haven’t finished in the top three or won either the Senior Cup or League Cup I will be probably stood here with you in May saying it has been a disappointment,” Eagle told Non League Yorkshire.

“Top five was my aim but now it is top three.

“I’ve changed my view because I feel where we are and what we have got that we have got the opportunity to finish in the top three.

“I feel we will get better.

“If we don’t I feel (finish in the top three) that we have underachieved because what we have done and what we can do.

“What we have done (in the FA Cup) is outstanding but it doesn’t matter what we have done if we don’t push on in the next four or five weeks in the League, the League Cup and the Senior Cup.

“It’ll mean nothing and I won’t let them do after how hard they have worked.

“We could fall away because of all the games we have to play but as a management team and set of players we won’t let it happen.

“Where we are and what we have done is our baseline and if anyone drops below it then they don’t play.

“Our standards are high and they’ll keep getting higher and higher.”

Handsworth players congratulate Ben Townsend on his penalty save during one brief period of sunshine during the FA Cup defeat at Pontefract

After causing four upsets, the FA Cup dream came to an end in brutal fashion in the 6-0 defeat at Pontefract Collieries.

Handsworth now have to play catch-up with six league games to play before the month is out – starting with the visit of high-flying Eccleshill United to Olivers Mount tonight.

“We don’t need to regroup or anything like that, we just need to be better on Wednesday and Saturday and put the (Pontefract defeat) to bed,” he said.

“But the FA Cup run will mean nothing if we don’t produce on Wednesday or Saturday.

“We have 13 games between now and the end of November so it is going to be tough everyone out fit week-in-week-out.

“But I have a good set of lads and we have worked hard to get to where we have and there is a few lads who haven’t played who will come into the side.”

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