Hereford United skipper Luke Graham confident that Bulls can mount Blue Square challenge (From Hereford Times)
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Hereford United skipper Luke Graham confident that Bulls can mount Blue Square challenge
HEREFORD United skipper Luke Graham remains convinced that the Bulls can still be Blue Square Bet Premier challengers this season.
With 11 of the club’s 46 matches completed, or a quarter of the season gone, and Hereford sitting in 11th place in the table, the tall centre-back is still optimistic that better lies ahead.
And he sees the club’s creche of younger players - there are six 20-year-olds in the squad - as the key to improved form.
“We have a lot of young players and we have seen them return to form in the last couple of games,” said Graham.
“When they are on it and we are playing as a team, it’s brilliant.
“We have played some cracking football in the last couple of games and I fully believe that we will give Mansfield a game on Saturday.
“With the team we have got, and when we are on top of our game, I don’t fear any other team.”
Graham has been encouraged by United’s performances against some of the top sides, while acknowledging the need for consistency.
But he admits that some of the displays have not been up to scratch.
“Our last two away games have been nowhere near good enough and it is embarrassing,” he said.
“It affects you and it affects everyone around you - the days until you can get that next win are horrible.
“Our goals against column is not good enough. As a defender you pride yourself on clean sheets and we have only had one.
“Consistency is what we need as a team and as a group - the players who step out on to the field need to be at seven out of 10 every week, we can’t be having some at five and six.
“The last two matches have shown that we are back together as a team, we are working hard as a team. If we stick together we will keep building.
“We have played Macclesfield, Newport and Forest Green - teams that have been tipped to be at the top of the table - and we have been a match for all of them on our day. If we get our consistency right, I still believe that we will be in the pack at the top come the end of the season.”
Boss Martin Foyle also still believes there is plenty to come from his young squad.
“There is a lot of promise and a lot of energy but I want to be a team,” he said. “I don’t like conceding goals and wherever I have been, my teams have not conceded many goals.
“At the moment, though, with every attack we look vulnerable.”
l United have released defender Byron Anthony for financial reasons.