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Rainford: Competition for places is key
5:11pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 in Local Sport
MIDFIELDER David Rainford claims it’s the fierce competition for places this season which sets it out from previous years as third-placed Chelmsford City gradually build a sequence of positive results towards their aim of promotion from the Blue Square Bet South.
Traditionally the Clarets have stuttered around February, but last Saturday’s impressive 4-0 victory at Tonbridge Angels made it six league victories from eight games, and just one defeat.
It was also a venue where they’d previously struggled and Rainford, who doubles as City’s assistant manager, acknowledged the air of optimism filtering through the camp.
“I like the competition in the squad – it’s healthy and we’ve possibly got more than we’ve had previously in all positions,” he said.
“It drives attitudes and focus and we all know we’ve got to be giving our best to stay in the team.
“There are players who’ve played more than others, but there are no mainstays. We’ve got the ability to mix the team now and not weaken it and we’ve also been able to change things even after a win, which we’ve not had before.
“Over the course of the season so far we’ve been fairly consistent, with only the odd blip.
“At Tonbridge we weren’t outstanding, just solid. The first half was a tight affair and we stayed structured into the second half then, when we had a good spell, we were destructive and took our chances. It was a great result but we have to stay grounded.
“We have games in hand, but they’re not three points yet – we can’t get ahead of ourselves as players.”
Manager Glenn Pennyfather has made several changes to his squad in recent weeks as he attempts to reinforce it ahead of a busy spell, with matches in most midweeks until the end of March at least.
David added: “When you arrive at a new club you want to contribute as early as possible so the fans and your team mates get to know and respect you quickly. “
The players we’ve brought in recently have all done that and it gives the rest of us a lift.”
This weekend the Clarets make the difficult trip to pre-season favourites Eastleigh, who were heavily backed at the start of the campaign having invested in a talented squad.
On Monday night, kick-off 7.45pm at Melbourne, Chelmsford host mid-table Havant & Waterlooville. City drew 1-1 at Havant on the first day of the season, conceding in the last few minutes.