Slough Town must raise their game insists Steve Bateman
By Rob Stevens • Published 30 Aug 2012 17:45 0 Comments
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Food for thought: Steve Bateman's Rebels have got off to a sluggish start - including being wasteful in front of goal. Inset, striker Danny Burnell.
STEVE Bateman admits Slough Town will have to raise their game if they are going to challenge for the Southern Division One Central title this season.
The Rebels have taken four points from their opening three fixtures - coupled with progression in the FA Cup - but boss Bateman insists performances must improve if promotion into the Southern Premier is to be achieved at the fourth time of asking.
Slough were sloppy in possession during the 4-2 FA Cup preliminary round win against Corinthian on Saturday and failed to fire in the 1-1 league draw with Holloways Park landlords and local rivals Beaconsfield SYCOB on Bank Holiday Monday.
Bateman bemoaned: "We have been giving the ball away too much which is disappointing because it's not something we normally do.
"It was disappointing to be honest and we need to play better than what we have been.
"We picked up a point but we're not happy with what we've been doing - it's a feeling shared between the players and management at the moment. We are wasteful in position. Even the 5-0 win against Northwood flattered us - we gave them too many sights at goal.
"We had a lot of work to do then and that's still the case now."
The Rebels supremo continued: "We will work on a few things in training but I'm not kidding myself.
"We have not been as creative as I would've liked but we've scored 11 goals in four games.
"We set our own standard of expectations but we're not hitting that level yet - but it's still early days."
Slough failed to wrestle local bragging rights from the Rams after the holiday derby stalemate and face a tricky trip to Middlesex to face Uxbridge on Saturday (3pm kick-off). The Reds will be buoyed by their midweek FA Cup preliminary replay win at Wembley - shown live on ESPN.
Bateman said: "We've had a good look at them and they're coming in off the back off a resounding result so their confidence will have been boosted.
"It will be a difficult game - both teams are local and well known to each other.
"We got the better of them last year but it will not be easy.
"I've got confidence and belief in my players and we'll be better for players coming in like James Warrington and Alex Brown.
"We're hoping Ed Smith will feature on Saturday - I'm looking to let him loose."
The Rebels then host Woodford United on Tuesday (September 4, 7:45pm) before returning to FA Cup action and a first qualifying round tie against Lingfield of Sussex County League Division One on September 8.
Looking ahead Bateman added: "We have got a good opportunity against Step Five opposition but I expect another tough game.
"We've got a second home tie in the first qualifying round against opposition we should be able to compete against but they've made a bright start to their league.
"But we have got to work harder. We saw both ends of the spectrum last year beating Banbury then losing to Hanworth Villa after a replay.
"I'd like to go into the second qualifying round and get another home draw - maybe slip through un-noticed."