Lance Key praises Histon squad strength
Stutes hit top spot ahead of trip to Stowmarket
Competition for places has been the major factor in helping Histon to the top of the Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division, according to Lance Key.
A hat-trick from Ed Rolph and one goal apiece from Dan Brown and Max York secured the Stutes a 5-0 win over Wroxham last Saturday.
It was a result that took them to first place, two points clear of Stowmarket with two games in hand, after earning seven wins in eight games.
Their one defeat came at bogey side Long Melford, and that was on the back of a tiring week in the FA Cup where they drew with Evo-Stik League South, Premier Division side King’s Lynn, before losing the replay.
With a rare midweek off for the 18-man squad ahead of a trip to Stowmarket on Saturday, manager Key can easily identify the special ingredient to the start of their campaign.
“I think it has been the competition for places more than anything else,” he said.
“People know that if they are not quite at it, they will be left out.
“It’s not because they’re not good enough, it’s because I can freshen it up each week.
“I have been able to rotate and that is probably one of the biggest things where you freshen it up and make it different. I have different choices for different scenarios that I can use this year.
“We play a 3-5-2 formation and I have players to suit that formation and so everyone knows their role and responsibilities and I think having a stronger, more flexible squad in that sense is the key difference.
“When I do change it in certain games, I’m not making it any weaker. I’m making it stronger each time I change it because those players are as good, if not better, at times. And when they come on, because they are fresh, they really can affect the game.”
It is now a case of whether Histon can handle the pressure that comes with being top of the table, but Key does not really feel that is anything new for the squad.
“I have always said that we have a target on our back anyway because of who we are and where we’ve been in the past,” he said.
“I think everyone comes to our place at the Glass World and want to win because it’s a lovely setting.
“From that aspect, I think we have a target on our back a lot of the time, but also now psychologically we’ve gone top of the league.
“We’re top with games in hand so it’s not a bad position to be in at the moment, but things can change in a week and Stowmarket is our next biggest game so we’re focused on that.”