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Jones feels performances are improving

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

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WILLAND Rovers manager Clive Jones believes fortune is slowly turning in favour of his team ahead of Saturday's match at home to Winterbourne United.

Jones heads into the game after Tuesday's game at Ilfracombe was postponed. That came after a thrilling 4-3 extra-time defeat to Horndean in the FA Vase on Saturday.

Jones admits to feeling 'horrible' after watching his side crash out of the Vase, but he does feel things are slowly improving for the struggling Silver Street side.

"Things are slowly getting better for us and we are putting in good performances now," said Jones. "I do think things are slowly turning for us.

"Considering how bad things were for us at the start of the season, i think we are slowly improving but we still have a long way to go."

Against Horndean, goals from Jamie Skinner and Danny Baily saw the Mid Devon outfit recover from 2-0 down to level, before George Rogers bagged another, only to miss an extra-time penalty.

The hosts then scored a winner in the 113th minute, sending Jones' men back on the long journey from Hampshire empty-handed.

And Jones admitted to feeling devastated for his players after the supreme effort they put in on the day.

"It was horrible. Over the years I have tried to not get too high with the wins or too low with the defeats, but the match on Saturday was horrible," said Jones.

"They really gave everything and ran for all 120 minutes but when we missed a penalty in extra time and then they scored the winner, I felt really dreadful.

"I really do feel sorry for my players. Sometimes I worry they do not want to play for me but they gave everything for me this time."

Meanwhile, Pete Buckingham believes Elmore's challenge for the top six is back on, ahead of the visit of Calne Town on Saturday.

The Eagles emerged from a tough fixture away to Keynsham Town with a 3-1 victory last time out, courtesy of an own goal, a superb chip from Tom Kelly and Matt Harvey's close-range effort.

And the former Cullompton Rangers manager feels the league table is now looking much healthier for Elmore.

"If you look at the league table now it is respectable," said Buckingham.

"We are mid-table with a couple of games in hand and I think that top eight or even top six is possible again.

"Looking at the table we are won five, drawn five, lost four and that is not too bad."

Buckingham had the luxury of fielding a settled side on Saturday and naming three substitutes although, for the second week running, the Eagles finished with 10 men as four players went off injured.

"We have used so many players recently that I have lost count but, for the last three games, we have played exactly the same defence and I think that has made a huge difference," he said.

"Having a settled squad is making a big difference. It is making us a bit more stable and I think that has been reflected in our results.

"We are a lot more consistent and I think that comes from being able to field a settled and unchanged side."

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