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Barking boss Gardner: I had Bracknell down as favourites for title before league season

PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 November 2019

Joe Bruce leads the congratulations (pic Terry Gilbert)

Joe Bruce leads the congratulations (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner revealed he pinned Bracknell Town as title favourites ahead of the Isthmian League South Central season.

South Park's defence comes under attack from Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)South Park's defence comes under attack from Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues welcome The Robins to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday as they look to cause an upset by extending their three-game winning run in the league.

Their opponents, who currently sit seventh, parted company with manager Sam Lock last month and have since appointed Mark Tallentire and Aaron Steadman to take control.

Since the switch and a number of player changes they are unbeaten in three league games.

"Bracknell were the bookies favourites to win the league at the start of the season, they were my favourites as well, as they've invested heavily in their squad," said Gardner.

Johnny Ashman on the ball for Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)Johnny Ashman on the ball for Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)

"They've done quite well, but the manager was relieved last month, due to the club believing they should be walking away with the league.

"I suppose with what they're investing it's rightly so to be expecting that. We're under no illusions it's going to be a tough game, but we're at home, and we're pretty decent at home."

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The boss revealed he has been delighted with his squad and their efforts for a number of weeks now.

"I don't want to sound like a broken record, but since the Waltham Abbey game at home bar one performance at Chalfont St Peter I've been really impressed with performances," he added.

"We're just getting the luck we deserve at the moment, but if we take our foot off the pedal, that luck will run out.

"We just have to take one game at a time and keep plugging away.

"As a manager all you can take control of is the performances, in terms of the players that are playing for you, and the instructions you're working on in training are coming into effect on match days.

"I think if the team is not performing, creating chances or working hard for each other that is when there is a worry, but if you're losing games and those things are taking place it's only a matter of time before your luck turns around.

"That's the only time I'd be worried if players are not following instructions and not working hard or blaming each other.

"As long as we're not doing those things nine times out of 10 you'll get your rewards."

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