Dodsworth hopeful Handsworth will finish in the top five

Toolstation NCEL Premier Division 

Handsworth joint manager Jason Dodsworth

Jason Dodsworth remains focussed on guiding Handsworth to a top five finish.

Handsworth – who visit resurgent Penistone Church this weekend – are having a bad time having lost six of their last eight league fixtures.

Dodsworth says he and Aiden Spowage are confident a turnaround in form will be forthcoming.

“If you look at the table there’s no reason why we can’t finish top five,” Dodsworth told Non League Yorkshire.

“I wouldn’t say anything different.

“From fifth down to 14th there’s seven points in it, it is really tight.

“You can go on a run of four or five wins and before you know it you’re right back in it.

“Teams have done that this season.

“We had our good spell, we’ve hit a bad spell and we’ll be looking to hit another good spell.

“Look at Penistone, when Steve Lenthall took over after Ian (Richards) left they were in a difficult position.

“Look at them now, they have put six wins on the bounce together and look where they are now (in fifth).

“They’re flying.”

The honeymoon period is over Handsworth joint managers Jason Dodsworth and Aiden Spowage

Penistone’s bad run under Lenthall in October was put down to the adaption period as the new Church boss changed the style of play.

The same could be said for Handsworth as the deterioration in form coincided with Dodsworth and Spowage putting their own stamp on it after securing the job on a permanent bosses after their honeymoon period as caretakers.

But it has been tough and asked how he would describe results since November, Dodsworth pulled no punches.

“Well, terrible,” he said.

“There’s no excuses and no need to beat around the bush.

“You’re going away from home and scoring two goals which we did three times and losing 4-2.

“When you’re scoring two goals away home you should be at least good enough for a point in my opinion.

“The lads know we haven’t good enough and know we haven’t been defending well as a back four stroke five or as a team.

“It hasn’t been going for us and in this league you have a lot of highs and a lot of lows very quickly.

“We lose four on the trot and then we go and beat Grimsby Borough 2-0 but then we lose the next three.

“We are trying to do things differently to what the lads have done for the last year or so and we’re in a bit of a transition with players.

“It is no excuse, we should have done better, the lads know we have done better and it is up to us to put it right.”

Despite the slide, Dodsworth retains faith in the squad.

“There may be a few changes in the future but not at the minute.” he said.

“These lads deserve a chance.

“Players don’t become bad players overnight.

“The bad run we have been on has been with the same lads who were part of the run of eight wins, one draw and one loss.

“We have hit a bit of bad form but that’s for us to deal with and put right and we have been working hard to do that.”

Handsworth have beaten Penistone in the league and Sheffield Senior Cup already this season but Dodsworth knows they’ll have a rough ride tomorrow.

“It is going to be very tough,” he said.

“They are flying and scoring goals and they’ve got that buzz about them.

“It is a tough place when they are playing as they are.

“We have beat them twice this season but that form book goes out of the window.

“I’m looking forward to it and I hope the lads put a performance in.”

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