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Howell calms expectations

Rocks boss Jamie Howell is pleading for calm and playing down expectations at Nyewood Lane despite his side’s strong start to the season.


Bognor have defied the odds so far this season, overcoming an injury crisis to propel themselves second in the Ryman Premier.


Despite not playing for a fortnight, the Nyewood Lane side have been top for much of this month – until Havant’s midweek win over Billericay knocked them off the perch, with former Rock’s striker Jason Prior bagging a brace.


For Howell though, all focus is on making sure his squad and fans do not get ahead of themselves.


Speaking to the Post, he said: “We’re exceeding expectations at the moment and find ourselves near the top of the league.


“People look at that and think we are doing well. But we have probably created that success by over-achieving.


“It puts a lot of pressure on young team that’s enjoying playing their football.


“My main aim this year was to avoid relegation and then once we have done that to try and mass as many points as we can.”


The Rocks return to action tomorrow travelling to Leatherhead (3pm KO), who are managed by former England player Jimmy Bullard.


Despite the Surrey side struggling this season, the presence of the ex-Fulham man in the home dugout is a reminder of the resources that other clubs in the division can rely on.


Howell said a recent trip to watch Havant and Waterlooville reinforced this view.


He said: “Other clubs in this division have big squads, a lot of depth and big budgets.


“You look at Havant and their squad and they have four or five strikers who could fit in at any club in the division. Sometimes I’m struggling to find one striker who is fit.


“We will have a blip and lose games at some point in the season.


“At the moment I’m proud of what they have achieved so far.”

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