Aylesbury FC manager Davis Haule has praised the mentality of his players after his side secured their Southern League status with a 2-2 draw against Ashford Town.
Haule has revealed that he arranged extra training sessions in a bid to change the Moles’ fortunes, and they are now reaping the rewards having lost just two of their past 13 games.
“We started doing Tuesday sessions and putting in the hard work in the background and the mentality has changed,” explained Haule. “It’s a knock-on effect. The ability of the players was never in question. We were creating chances in games which is always a plus, and it was just a case of getting that first win on the board so the players know ‘we can do this’.”
In addition to getting a result in their game, Aylesbury needed Northwood and Histon to lose their respective fixtures, with the latter failing to convert a 97th minute penalty which confirmed FC’s safety.
Haule, however, insisted he was only focused on his side, adding: “Since I came I’ve always had the mentality to worry about us and what we’re going to do.
“When I spoke to the players I made sure everything was about us. Our position, our motivation, our work-rate.
“Even though we were safe and had achieved everything we had worked for, the players were down because we played really well and it was a game we should have won. That was really good to see.
“I think that shows we’ve totally turned a corner and the lads are looking forward to the future and saying ‘OK, this is where our standards are now’.”
After securing their survival, Haule is already looking towards next season and a push for promotion.
“I want to win and be the best at anything I do, and the group of players that are here have the same mentality.” he said.
“Hopefully next season we’ll flip the table on its head and we’ll be at the other end.”
The Moles played their penultimate game of the season on Easter Monday, losing 2-0 to in-form AFC Dunstable.
With Aylesbury safe from relegation, playing a few squad players in the first XI and the hosts’ promotion chances still alive, the onus was always on AFC to attack and a goal in either half secured them all the points.
The first goal came with their first real attack of the game and saw Jermaine Hall poke home the rebound after James Weatherill saved well from a header.
Josh Bamford spurned a fine opening to level for Aylesbury while Aston Goss crashed against the crossbar in a relatively even first period.
The second-half was more of a scrappy affair but Dunstable cared not when they doubled their advantage through the prolific BJ Christie, who slotted beyond Weatherill with 13 minutes remaining.
Ahead of this weekend’s season finale against Fleet, the Moles are almost guaranteed to finish 19th in Division One Central. They are three points clear of Northwood with a superior goal difference and six behind Chalfont St Peter.