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New year, new targets for Martin Carruthers’ unbeaten Basford United

By Jon Couch

They may be 21 points clear in the league table and yet to taste defeat in the league all season, but there’s no letting up for players at Basford United – they’ve got to go and do it all again!

The Nottingham-based side are storming Evo-Stik South, but no-nonsense manager Martin Carruthers is taking nothing for granted and won’t accept any complacency until the aim of promotion is complete.

“I’ve sat down this week with my coaches, analysed all the DVDs of our games and set them all new targets from now until the end of the season,” Carruthers told The NLP.

“We set initial six-month targets in the summer and, by and large, they were achieved, which is great, it’s been a phenomenal first half of the season and one we could not have dreamed about at the start of the season.

“Now, though, we have new aims and aspirations, both for the players individually and collectively as a team.

“We targeted 100 points and promotion from the start of the season and that remains in place but all the players have their own goals to achieve also.

“For example, our midfielder James Reid was given a target of 12 assists and has got 18. Now he must go again, a bit like [striker] Liam Hearn, who is one goal away from his target of 25 goals. They’ve bought into the philosophy and know that we won’t be resting on our laurels.”

Ten points out of a possible 12 in nine days represented a happy holiday period for Carruthers’ men, but with just over 40 per cent of the season to go and the unbeaten record – stretching back to March – still in place, can they go on to make history as the Basford Invincibles?

“The lads have spoken about it but it’s a huge ask,” he smiled. “Alvechurch, for example, destroyed us earlier in the season but we put bodies on the line and managed to grind out a 2-1 win.

“That’s how it’s been all season, players playing for each other with a great spirit and determination. I’ve never known a group of players like it!”


*This article originally featured in The @NonLeaguePaper, which is available every Sunday and Monday

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