'Beating drop will be biggest achievement'

CANNY Glaswegian David Lloyd joined The Yellows on Tuesday September 11 and inherited a Town side that were considered by many to be bankers for the drop after seven defeats from their first seven games.

Monday, 3rd December 2007, 2:40 pm
Updated Friday, 7th December 2007, 2:46 pm

Now he says that if he saves them from relegation, "it will be my biggest achievement in football".

Since his appointment, Lloyd has led his men to five wins and two draws in the Blue Square North, as well as progress to the First Round proper of the FA Trophy.

His reign has been lit up by magnificent wins against Worcester City (5-0), Stalybridge Celtic (3-0), Boston United (3-2) and Workington Town (3-1) – the latter three all away from home.

Lloyd has also brought in 11 new players and instilled a fresh belief among the whole of his squad.

After leaving his previous job as assistant manager at Gainsborough Trinity, he arrived at Watnall Road with a reputation for strict management. And, alongside his assistant John Knapper, he has slowly turned the club around. He told the Dispatch this week: "I am enjoying it. I love football and I am enjoying working with John Knapper and the lads.

"The players have been good and they have responded well to me coming here.

"If the players are confident and enjoying themselves, then it makes my job a whole lot easier. It was hard at first but it has been really good recently.

"We are still in a tough position but we have given ourselves a chance.

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"This month is a big one for us. If we can do well, then we can go into January with our confidence high.

"If I can keep Hucknall Town in this league this season, it will be my biggest achievement in football."

Lloyd also stressed that he would be delighted with a run in the FA Trophy – but not at the expense of Town's Blue Square North status.

"If we can get through and go on a bit of a run, I would be delighted. But there would be no point in getting to the semi-finals or final if we get relegated."

Lloyd lists the favourite game of his reign so far as the 3-1 win at Workington last Saturday, while the worst was the "very poor performance" in the 5-0 drubbing at Southport at the beginning of October.

When asked for his most impressive signing, he opted for a player he feels has been rejuvenated under his tenure – Danny Mayman.

Lloyd feels that Mayman has come into his own since being moved back into the centre of midfield and also being handed the captain's armband. And it is something with which Mayman agrees.

"The captaincy was a very nice surprise," said Mayman. And I am at my happiest playing in the middle of the park.

"Out on the wing, you have to rely on other people more to get you into the game. But in the middle, I am more involved and I feel I can influence games more from there.

"I always ask for the ball and if I ever stopped doing that, then it would not be right."

Mayman was high in his praise for the way Lloyd has improved the set-up at Watnall Road.

"It is completely different to when we were under Andy Legg. David has brought some stability.

"Legg was trying to do everything on his own – playing, coaching, managing. It must have been hard and it was not happening for him. But David has John Knapper to help him.

"The first thing that changed was that training got harder. They set about improving our fitness.

"But the lads are enjoying it because they are having fun while also getting fit at the same time.

"David told us from the start that we were going to get out of relegation trouble. All we had to do was put in the hard work and work as a team.

"The atmosphere in the dressing room is better because the team are winning. We believe we are good enough to avoid relegation and we are enjoying ourselves, keeping fit and working hard."

It must have been hard and it was not happening for him. But David has John Knapper to help him.

“The first thing that changed was that training got harder. They set about improving our fitness.

“But the lads are enjoying it because they are having fun while also getting fit at the same time.

“David told us from the start that we were going to get out of relegation trouble. All we had to do was put in the hard work and work as a team.

“The atmosphere in the dressing room is better because the team are winning. We believe we are good enough to avoid relegation and we are enjoying ourselves, keeping fit and working hard.”