By Joe Harbert
Ashford United’s Josh Wisson insists competition for places in the Nuts & Bolts squad is now forcing everyone to raise their game.
The 21-year-old midfielder, who netted the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 win against Hastings at Homelands, adds that the club’s recent form is giving them a great foundation for success ahead of this season’s title showdown in May.
“When we play Hastings it’s always quite a derby and that’s why we all knew that we had to perform,” the former Sittingbourne man said.
“Usually when we play teams we’re attacking all game, but Saturday was completely the opposite. We were defending and that made it a long game, but once the final whistle came it was very rewarding.
“It shows that we’ve 100% improved defensively in the last month or so, because throughout October we were very inconsistent, dropping points in games that we should have won.
“But in the last few weeks Bourney (Matt Bourne) has come in at the back which has strengthened us and also allowed me to go into my natural position further forward.
“Tom O’Connor has also come back into midfield so there’s a lot more competition for places, but that means everyone raises their standard.
“We haven’t got the biggest budget in the league, but we’ve got a budget that can attract good players and we’ve got quite a few young players that want to play as high as they can, so the club has got the foundations to do it.”
Wisson, who has featured in 62 out of a possible 70 matches for United since joining from Herne Bay last summer, believes playing further forward has also allowed him to become a key ingredient of Tommy Warrilow’s ever-improving side this campaign.
He added: “I started the season at centre-half which I didn’t mind doing – I’ve played there lots before and always shuffled in between centre-half and midfield.
“But I’ve managed to get a little bit fitter in the last few months, and I think I’ve gone back into midfield and affected the game more.
“I’ve been playing in the league since I was about 16-17 and played a good 25 plus games in all of them, so it’s not like I’ve sat on the bench a lot.
“I know it quite well and I don’t feel like a junior. I feel like I’ve got a voice and people respect me and they don’t see me as a young kid – I’m in the team to do a job and I’m very professional about it.”
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