Simon Wormull was feeling very bullish about Lewes’ play-off hopes despite the late, late goal that cost his side a deserved point at Billericay on Saturday.
And the Rooks boss hailed all of his players for their performance, despite the defeat – but reserved special praise for his two teenage players: Charlie Leach and Max Howell.
Both 17-year-old had to come off the bench to replace players who suffered facial injuries from over-zealous challenges from Billericay players. But both stood up to the extreme physical nature of the match manfully.
Wormull said: “I think we are really now becoming a team, and like you’ve seen today – Charlie Leach, seventeen, Max Howell, seventeen: they played 45 (Howell) and 70 (Leach) minutes (and) didn’t look out of place. (They) absolutely worked their socks off.”
Asked why he kept Leach at left midfield (where he had come on to replace the ill-fated Jack Walder) once full back Lewis Hamilton also had to come off – instead dropping winger Peter Gregory back into that berth, Wormull said: “Well, Greggers is a natural wing back anyway, so we kind of just slotted him back in – (and) only for the fact that Charlie was doing so well in the middle of the park. He was breaking things up and getting us in there. But I haven’t a bad word to say about (any of) them today.”
And asked if he was still feeling positive about making the play-offs, he said “Absolutely. Definitely. I just said to the boys, if we continue playing like that we’re going to take a lot of points in the last seven games.
“We go into next week, Hendon, which is a six-pointer in our eyes cos obviously we’re all battling for that last play-off position.
“But no, definitely, I think: seven games, 21 points... I wouldn’t put it past us to pick up at least 18, 19 (points) if we play like that.
“We’ve got Hendon next week, we’ve still got to play Cray, which is again in amongst the play-off places, which are big games for us.
“It’s in out grasp now. This was a game we just wanted to get out of the way, and I think it was the same for Billericay. It was probably the hardest game they’ll get in the run-in as well.
“So we can now kick on: we’ve got Saturday-Saturday-Saturday games now. We can recover, get the players back sharp and fresh – and go for it for the last month.”
See this Friday’s Sussex Express for more.