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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Have a little paitience
CHIPPENHAM Town chief Nathan Rudge is urging Bluebirds fans to reflect on what his side have achieved in the opening months of the season.
Chippenham came agonisingly close to reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup earlier this month but last Saturday, their progress in the FA Trophy was brought to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by Sholing in the second qualifying round.
Involvement in cup competitions has seen Rudge’s men play just ten games in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division so far this season and the Bluebirds boss is keen to stress that his team are still a work in progress.
“I think that it’s time to take stock of what we have done so far this season after 17 games,” said Rudge.
“A lot of people look straight at your results and expect that this team were going to be successful overnight but myself and Rich (Fey) are new to the job and we’re trying to put our own stamp on the side by bringing in our own players.
“It’s surprised me just how much work there is to do but that’s because we’re trying to change the club from top to bottom and I think what we’re putting in place will benefit the club’s future – things don’t take five minutes to change.
“You can say that it’s good to concentrate on the league again now but, if I’m honest, I’d love to still be involved in the cups.
“But we’ve got the chance to put out the side we want to again because our hands have been tied recently – we brought in a lot of players who were cup-tied and a players who may not have played had to be involved in the cup games if I’m totally honest.
“It’s our bread and butter and we’ll be looking to try and get a run of games together in the league. I’m sure that we’ll be able to push ourselves up the table.”
The Bluebirds face a tough return to league action this weekend when they travel to unbeaten Leamington, who are second in the table.
Rudge said: “I know the manager of Leamington (Paul Holleran) well and they’ve always seemed to have the same group of players there for the last five years or so but, this year, things are clicking together for them.
“You have to compete against these sides who have massive budgets and we’ll go there and worry about our own game.”
Captain Scott Rogers returns from suspension while Clayton Fortune is also available for selection.
Lee Phillips remains a doubt as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.