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Mark Stimson: AFC Hornchurch on the brink of a turnaround

Mark Stimson doesn’t think AFC Hornchurch are far away – but knows they need to start turning the draws into wins.

The former Stevenage, Grays and Thurrock manager has replaced long-serving manager Jimmy McFarlane as Urchins manager.

McFarlane resigned following last weekend’s defeat to Haringey Borough that leaves them 17th in the Bostik Premier.

But with just five defeats so far, it’s the eight draws that Stimson believes shows they’re on the brink of climbing up the table.

“They’re on that borderline of not getting that win but also not being beaten,” Stimson said. “It’s the next three or four games where if you can pick up a win then it can turn.

“I’m a massive believer that you come around to Christmas time and the New Year and that’s when, at any level, real players step up.

“There’s so many distractions outside with work parties and the festive time, it’s the players who knuckle down and prepare right where you can get some wins in there.

“That’s knowing the players and that’s what I’ve got to try and do straightaway to find out what they do outside of the game and make sure they’re looking after themselves.

“Enjoy yourself – definitely, definitely – because life’s too short not to. But just realise that a couple of days later you’re going to have to perform.

“But we’ll get to know them, they’ll get to know me and hopefully we can enjoy the rest of the season and kick on.”

Stimson says he’s proud to leave Waltham Abbey fifth in the Bostik South Central having taken over in the summer.

“The last couple of the results haven’t gone to plan but we’ve had four or five injuries,” Stimson said. “They’re in a good position and I’m sure whoever gets the position will enjoy the squad he’s got and hopefully keep them there because they’ve got a fantastic chance of getting in the play-offs.”

Pick up Sunday’s NLP for more on Stimson’s thoughts on his new challenge and taking over from the respected Jimmy McFarlane

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