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Leatherhead's new boss wants more consistency

By This is Surrey  |  Posted: October 22, 2008

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New boss Bob Langford is determined to turn Leatherhead into a more consistent outfit after the Tanners' up and down start to the season.

The former Banstead Athletic manager took over the hot seat at Fetcham Grove last week following Ian Hazel's departure and faces his first game in charge away at Godalming on Saturday.

Langford is not an unfamiliar face at the club having served under Dave Harlow at the start of last season and taking the reins himself for one match, which he won, before Hazel was appointed.

However, the playing squad he now has at his disposal is very different to the one that he worked with during his last spell at the Grove. The current crop of players have produced some notable performances this season and some dreadful ones, and the experienced Langford knows that the first thing he needs to work on is bringing a level of consistency back to the Ryman League division one south side.

"They have been inconsistent this season, there's no doubt about that," said Langford. "But, having said that so are three quarters of the teams in this division.

"I've sat down with Mickey Stephens (Leatherhead's assistant manager) and we have both agreed that is something we need to work on. It's a young squad and that could be one of the reasons, but it's certainly something we will be looking to improve."

Langford benefited from a blank Saturday in the fixture calendar at the weekend, giving him the chance to take a full training session with the first team and then watch the reserves victory over Chessington & Hook.

"I've had a good look at the squad now and things are going well," said Langford. "We've said that we will give these a players a fair crack of the whip before bringing anyone else in, although I've already had plenty of calls from players that are interested in coming here."

There has already been one addition to the playing ranks with goalkeeper Chris Lewington coming in from Fisher Athletic.

"That is an area that we needed to address immediately," said Langford. "Young Neil (Etheridge) is away in the Philippines and is suspended when he gets back so we had to get someone in.

"Chris is an excellent keeper who has been playing for Fisher in the Conference South. He turned down a couple of clubs to come here and we're delighted to have him."

While the first team have struggled so far, the club's reserves are having an excellent season in the Surburban League. Langford says that he will work closely with reserve team boss Tony Fitzgerald to ensure both sides are aiming for the same goals.

"It should be one successful club," said Langford. "Obviously the first team has to be the priority and everyone agrees on that.

"I know the lads who run the reserves well and we've already sat down and had a good chat about how to take things forward. They see it the same way as I do.

"They want a successful reserve section and a successful first team and that's what we will all be striving for."

Leatherhead's match at Godalming kicks-off at 3pm.

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