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New Haverhill Rovers interim coach is looking forward

Mitchell Burr, left and Marcus Hunt played their part in Haverhill Rovers 2-0 win at FC Clacton
Mitchell Burr, left and Marcus Hunt played their part in Haverhill Rovers 2-0 win at FC Clacton

Interim coach Tom Donati is staying focused on taking each game as it comes as Haverhill Rovers look to build on their victory at FC Clacton.

A youthful Rovers team, which had just three players aged over 20 and featured four loanees from St Neots Town (two from the academy and two from the first team squad) earned a first win in 10 Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division matches on Tuesday with a 2-0 win on the Essex coast.

The three points were secured thanks to a spectacular volley from Rovers youth product, Mitchell Burr, and a breakaway goal in added time, from one of the St Neots quartet, 17-year-old Claudio Ofosu, the younger brother of former Rovers striker Andy Ofosu.

Donati, the former head of coaching at the Cambridge United Academy, was made interim first team coach last week and will work alongside interim manager Mick Reardon until the end of the season.

He took charge of the side at FC Clacton and said: “It was excellent. I would say the performance was exactly what we asked for and it was brilliantly executed.

“We had a little bit of fortune on our side but I thought we deserved it and to be totally honest, although they had the better of the possession, which we conceded before the game would be the case, we kept our composure and we had three or four of the better chances, including the goals.”

Having so many young players in the team, a situation forced upon Rovers following the departure in the past three weeks of an entire team’s worth of players, has paradoxically benefitted the side as they play with less psychological baggage, believes Donati.

“They maybe brush things off a little bit more easily because they don’t relate anything to previous knowledge because they have not got any previous knowledge and I think that’s really helpful in this sort of situation,” he said.

“I think we can get very carried away with what has happened rather than with what we are doing.

“It was a different team, a different group of players, someone else in charge; a totally different set up.

“I think the perfect mix is a combination of both experienced and young players and I think we are probably quite heavy with the younger players but sometimes that can be beneficial.”

On Saturday, Rovers have a league match at Walsham-le-Willows (3pm), who are just three points above the bottom three (eight points worse off than Rovers) before meeting FC Clacton again in the return league encounter next Tuesday (7.45pm).

Donati said: “It would be very naive not to expect to have to take each game as it comes and to try to be as proactive on the day of the game as I can be.

“Every day the squad will change so I think we’ve got to measure each game against the opponent rather than against the previous result because obviously you never know what’s going to happen, do you?”

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