CPL round 8 preview

It’s not the best situation for a team to be in when they are looking to bounce back, but it’s the challenge facing Port United on Saturday.

Coffs City United are starting to hit their straps following a slow start to their Coastal Premier League campaign that saw them take two draws and a win from their opening three matches.

But their last 180 minutes of CPL football has been impressive with Glenn Williams’ men notching up back-to-back clean sheets while they have found the back of the net a staggering 14 times.

Williams conceded a slight touch of arrogance may have started to creep in, but he still wasn’t entirely sure of the reason why it took them a while to get going.

“If I knew the answer I wouldn’t be in Coffs Harbour coaching, that’s for sure,” he said.

“It probably came out of the blue because on paper we’ve got one of the better teams and the depth is there so it did come as a bit of a shock.

“I don’t know what changed, but the guys were sick of not playing well and when you don’t play well you don’t enjoy it. There’s no use coming to training and putting that effort in and not enjoying it of a weekend.”

A 10-0 win over the Taree Wildcats last start was the result of some of his men starting to believe in themselves again.

Scott Goddard and Aaren Allsopp will miss the match with Port United, but the Lions’ new mentality is not to worry about who they don’t have on the field.

“If you get into a mindset of whose missing it can get in your head, but I think they’re over that now. They’re starting to know they can play alright.”

United coach Nathan Wade admitted the Lions weren’t the best team to face off the back of their surprise 2-1 defeat to Kempsey Saints.

“It’s not the best team to have a bounce back against but we’ll turn up and give it a shot,” he said.

“Nobody likes losing of course, but I said in the last few weeks that we weren’t playing at our best and in a way last week showed we weren’t.”

He wants more of an effort from his team to play as a unit.

“We need to play as a unit and not as individuals,” he said.

“I still think that Coffs are the team to beat so it should be very tough for our boys and at least if we’re playing who I believe will be in the top two or three we know exactly where we are.”

In other fixtures an understrength Port Saints will face Sawtell in Port Macquarie while Taree Wildcats clash with Boambee.

Macleay Valley host Northern Storm in Kempsey while Kempsey Saints hit the road to tackle Coffs Coast Tigers at Polwarth Drive.

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