Toolstation NCEL Premier Divison
Steve Lenthall believes Penistone Church have overcome the difficulties during the adaptation period and are now reaping the rewards.
Since succeeding Ian Richards, Lenthall and assistant manager John Whitehead have completely changed Penistone’s playing philosophy and initially there were a few sticky results.
The 4-1 defeat to 14-games-unbeaten Garforth Town last Saturday was the first blot on the landscape for a few weeks and Lenthall says the performances are coming together – as three straight wins prior to the Garforth game show.
“I think we did go backwards and I do think we have gone forward,” Lenthall told Non League Yorkshire.
“I think people will look at (the Garforth result) and think Penistone have gone backwards again.
“I don’t think that’s not right.
“Look at the midweek result between Winterton and Eccleshill.
“Anybody can beat anyone in this league and we showed it when we beat Grimsby up here.
“They’re sat top of the league and we beat them thoroughly 4-1 and deservedly.
“Myself and Jubby (John Whitehead) are putting our stamp on the team and implementing how we want to play.
“It is totally different to what Richo (Ian Richards) had them doing.
“Richo’s plan was brilliant but we’re a bit different.
“We want our full-backs to be more involved and it is going to take time to be at full swing.
“When I did the reserves we had a way we played and that was to play the ball on the deck and get the full-backs involved.
“It is something I believe can win games and is proven in the performances apart the one against Garforth and Bottesford.
“Performances have been there so that’s by involving (right back) Tom Charlesworth and Jammy (left-back James Young) when he has been playing.
“I think it will work and it will be successful.
“What we have to realise is that we have lost one game in the last four or five games so it is not crisis time.
“It is now about how we react to it.”
The Garforth result is not one Lenthall will lose sleep over.
“We had won three on the bounce, two in the league and one in cup (going into the Garforth game) and confidence was quite high,” he said.
“We’d had two great training sessions so there was nothing to say we couldn’t have come into the game and got something out of it.
“I just think we had an off-day and Garforth were the better side.
“You have to hold your hands up and say you can see why they are unbeaten in 14 games.”
Penistone head to Staveley Miners Welfare tomorrow in 14th place but only three points from tenth placed Goole AFC.
Lenthall remains convinced Church can break into the top ten.
“I still like to think we can get into the top six or eight,” he said.
“It is that close the league.
“Another win this week and you can be back in the top ten.
“A good run of wins and you can be up there.
“It is a long shot to be promoted but right now it is about steadying the ship and getting the performances.”
Some new faces could arrive soon but Lenthall says they are likely to come from the club’s youth infrastructure.
“We have a couple of players interested in coming,” he said.
“We have a couple of young lads from the youth and development sides coming to train.
“We can look into the club as we have quality.
“I’d rather look into the club rather than out of the club.”