Hamlets Ashanike confident young squad will perform against big-spending ‘Stow
- Credit: Archant
Tower Hamlets manager AJ Ashanike is confident his young squad will perform against Essex Senior League big boys Walthamstow this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.
Hamlets will welcome Ryan Maxwell’s side to the Mile End Stadium on Saturday as they look to continue their recent surge in form.
Ashanike’s side managed to cause an upset by nicking a 3-2 win against high-flying Stansted at the weekend, before crashing to a 2-0 defeat against fellow strugglers Enfield on Monday.
“It’s a massive challenge, but they know what to expect, and without a doubt I know they’re going to all show up on Saturday as they’re playing against a big team,” said Ashanike.
“It’s when we play teams around us, that is what worries me, whereas when we play the bigger teams I’m always confident the boys will put a good performance in, as the occasion gets them buzzing.”
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The former Ilford defender says he knows a lot about Walthamstow’s squad and even backed himself to name their starting 11 before the match.
“They’ve got my old goalkeeper ‘Clarky’ (Chris Clark) in there, and I know their squad really well,,” he added.
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“I think I could even name their starting 11 before the game is even played!
“They’re going to be really good, very experienced, but what we’ve got is youth in our squad which helps us.
“We just need them to really step up again on Saturday.”
Ashanike has also backed his decision to use the youth set-up after his side’s recent results.
“It’s been really good, we got rid of most of the boys we started the season with, and have instead looked at the boys who played in the FA Youth Cup last year to bring them in.
“I’ve also brought in Darrell (Queeley) to work alongside me as he has worked with these kids. It’s going to take time before the kids find their ways, but hopefully we can keep them together.”
Neighbours Sporting Bengal United also return to league action this weekend as they travel to leaders Hullbridge Sports.
Imrul Gazi and his side will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games and knock Sports off top spot as they continue to chase down the top three.
Bengal host Takeley at Mile End on Wednesday.