Promotion is still the aim for Paul Smith on Halesowen return

Paul Smith insists promotion is still the goal and hopes for a Non-League Day win after retaking the managerial position at Halesowen Town this week...writes Luke Powell.

Manager Paul Smith
Manager Paul Smith

The Yeltz travel to Dereham Town in Northern One Midlands tomorrow, looking to change their fortunes after two losses in a row – and three from their last six games.

Earlier this week, Craig Nicholls and Martin Sockett were dismissed from their joint-managerial positions, which they took when Smith left earlier in the season due to personal reasons, following a run of three winless games.

Smith – reappointed on Monday – still has sights set on promotion as he hopes to turn it around quickly with his side, saying: “Promotion is the aim, it’s always been the aim.

“It’s a very slim chance automatically with the very poor month we’ve had. We’re trying to turn the form around in the next six games to give us a chance in the play-offs.

“It’s brilliant to be back. It’s probably a little bit sooner than I anticipated. It’s been a whirlwind few days but I’m delighted.”

The 46-year-old has full belief in his squad with six games to go, sitting nine points adrift of top-spot Stamford.

Halesowen strengthened with the signings of wing-back Jak Hickman on dual registration terms with National League North side Banbury United and midfielder Brogan Halpin on dual registrations terms with Worcester Raiders.

And Smith has called on the fans to play their part in the run-in, understanding the magnitude of the test ahead.

“It’s a big task, in fact a huge one,” he said. “If you look at the form at the moment you can see that I’ve got a group of players that are very despondent and very down.

“The squad is definitely good enough, but the problem at the moment is it’s devoid of any confidence.

“In football, if your form’s bad, and you’re in a bit of a rut, the only way you can get yourself out of that is to roll your sleeves up and work harder.

“I believe that’s the key to success and to push on. I don’t believe over the last four-six weeks that the squad has been working hard enough.

“I’m confident that we can improve, and if we can get the best out of the group then I think it’s good enough to go and gain promotion.

“It’s just whether I can get the best out of the group in the short space of time.

“It’s very easy to support a club that’s winning every week, it’s a lot harder to support players that aren’t playing well.

“All I ask of the fans is to give the boys the backing as much as they can as well as they have over the last four years, and let’s see if they can be a deciding factor in helping to turn this form around.”

This weekend brings Non-League Day, which Smith hopes will see the Yeltz return to winning ways and picking up three points.

He said: “Dereham are fighting for their lives in the bottom six and had a very good result last week.

“They’re going to look at us and see that we’ve got a very soft underbelly at the moment.

“I want to get that fire back in the belly. It’s an important game for us and one we’ve got to take as a cup final.”

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