Manager Craig Laird sets his Weston-super-Mare players new target ahead of clash with Salisbury
Weston-super-Mare boss Craig Laird has banned all talk of the play-offs and instead set his players an altogether more obtainable goal ahead of Saturday’s home game against Blue Square South leaders Salisbury.
If avoiding relegation was Weston’s initial goal before the start of the season, they have already achieved that with something to spare.
Always looking to challenge his players, Laird is now demanding they surpass last season’s points tally of 53.
Having already attained the half century mark, the Seagulls are on course to do just that and victory over Salisbury will see the seaside club emulate the class of 2011/12.
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Laird explained: “It is all about setting small targets, things that are realistic and achievable.
“If you can meet the modest targets as you go along, then you can always reassess and raise your sights as you go through the season.”
Certainly, Weston are currently aspirational in a way they have not been for many years and a healthy return of 10 points from the last four games has propelled Laird’s in-form team to within one place of the play-offs.
Unlike last season when the Seagulls started well, only to fade during the run-in, they are showing every sign of maintaining their charge this time around.
Now in his third year in charge, Laird attributes the improvement to continuity and the benefits of a settled squad.
He said: “We do not operate a revolving door policy at this club and, as far as I can remember, we have only lost five players and brought another five in all my time here.
“That is quite remarkable for any club at any level, let alone one where the wage bill is modest.
“It is that stability that has enabled us to work with the players and improve things year on year.
“The entire squad is another year older and wiser this season and the things we have learned are now standing us in good stead.”
Ben Kirk missed Tuesday’s 3-0 triumph over Chelmsford at the Woodspring Stadium and Laird must decide whether or not to change a winning team ahead of a second meeting with Salisbury in the space of seven days.