'Too many players are in the comfort zone' - Horndean boss Michael Birmingham to ring changes for trip to Tadley Calleva

Michael Birmingham intends to ring the changes at Horndean for their Wessex League Premier Division trip to Tadley Calleva on Saturday (3pm).

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 11:08 am
Updated Thursday, 5th December 2019, 2:48 pm
Jack Maloney has been axed for Horndean's trip to Tadley Calleva. Picture: Neil Marshall (181222-004)

The Deans boss was disappointed by his side’s second-half performance in the 3-0 derby defeat at Fareham on Tuesday.

After a goalless first half, the hosts went on to end a run of five successive home league losses to Horndean in some style.

It also brought to an end the Deans’ nine-game unbeaten league away run, which stretched back to last March.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

‘We couldn't have waved the white flag or surrender any quicker,’ said Birmingham.

‘The first half was even, though, incredibly dull.

‘It was a toss-up between which dug-out fell asleep first.

‘After the break, Fareham were the better side and we could have no complaints about the result.

‘I will be making a lot of changes this weekend and some of the players won't even be travelling.

‘Too many players are in the comfort zone.’

One player definitely axed is former Pompey midfielder Jack Maloney, who picked up his fifth booking of the season at Cams Alders - being sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes shortly after Fareham’s opening goal.

He is ruled out of next Tuesday's home clash with AFC Portchester, so Birmingham will look to play his likely replacement.

The Horndean manager has warned his team they will need to be prepared to grind out a result at Tadley.

‘They have a tight pitch and we have to make sure that we turn up,’ he declared.

‘We have to ignore their recent record and go there determined to win the game.’

Tadley’s results have certainly been inconsistent.

Although they sit sixth-from-bottom, they have beaten the likes of Hamble Club, Stoneham and Baffins in league action this term.