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Sykes urges Cleeve to keep producing top form

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 02, 2012

SET TO PLAY:  Gloucester City loan youngster Sam Rawlings will play for Cleeve on Saturday

SET TO PLAY: Gloucester City loan youngster Sam Rawlings will play for Cleeve on Saturday

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THE quest for consistency is driving Alex Sykes to demand more from his stuttering Bishop's Cleeve side.

Brilliant in claiming a 2-0 victory at Wincester City on Saturday, Cleeve turned in an insipid performance in their 3-0 reverse at Bridgwater Town three days later.

The Bridgwater defeat left Sykes scratching his head as he and assistant Matt Rose try and plot a route back into form ahead of tomorrow's visit of Paulton Rovers (3pm).

"We just can't quite seem to find any consistency at the moment, as good as we were at Winchester – and we were excellent – we were poor at Bridgwater," Sykes said.

"We conceded a penalty and a soft goal from a set-piece in the first half and I let my feelings be known in the dressing room at half-time.

"We were a touch better in the second half, but it didn't count for a lot in the end.

"Matt and I had a good long hour on the phone talking things over on Wednesday night, discussing why we are so inconsistent.

"We've got some decent experience at Southern League level, but perhaps we are lacking a bit for leadership.

"But the real thing now is to keep positive and attack the game against Paulton and then against Cirencester on Tuesday.

"I am sure there are lads in my dressing room that will not have any problems getting motivated for Tuesday, being old Ciren players.

"But we have to make sure that we treat Paulton with the same respect and attitude, we need to put together two performances back-to-back."

One major concern for Sykes has been the lack of form on home turf, where only one point has been claimed from five games so far this term.

But with Paulton's form inconsistent at best, there is no better time for that run to end than tomorrow.

"Paulton have been a bit like us in the fact they are inconsistent and they are certainly there to be got at," Sykes said.

"But then again, their manager will be saying the exact same thing as I will. At the end of the day it will be down to who performs best."

Sykes will be able to call upon loan duo Matt Liddiard and Sam Rawlings for the game, despite the duo's expected involvement in parent club Gloucester City's first round FA Cup tie on Sunday.

Otherwise he has no injury worries in a squad that will be challenged to start performing sooner rather than later.

"I've spoken to Boris (Gloucester boss Dave Mehew) and he's okay for Matt and Sam to play for us on Saturday," Sykes said.

"They've given us a bit of freshness that we've needed and perhaps I will have to think about more changes.

"I said I would give it ten games but the Cirencester game is our 11th of the season, and if we are not performing by then, I may have to consider changes."

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