Taylor enjoys that winning feeling at Cully
MIKE Taylor has hailed the increased optimism at Cullompton Rangers since his arrival at the club back in October.
Cully were struggling at the wrong end of the table when Taylor took over just hours after leaving local rivals Witheridge.
But Saturday's 4-1 win over Penzance – courtesy of doubles from Ryan Leverton and Sam Kemp – meant them back-back-victories and a first home league success of the campaign.
Taylor's men host second-from-bottom Liskeard Athletic on Saturday, and Taylor is delighted with the buoyant mood currently around Speeds Meadow.
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"There is definitely more optimism at the club in the team and on the pitch, and I think that showed on Saturday," said Taylor, who saw Sam Kemp, Marcus Pethick and Sam Cotterill go off injured, and will be without James Bedford (hamstring) and Tom Broom (unavailable) this weekend.
"But it is a long process and we are not going to run before we can walk.
"I just hope that the players who picked up injuries in Saturday's game are fit enough to play.
"Sam and Marcus are key attacking players for the team so I am really hoping they are fit in what is a big game.
"Sam has been scoring goals for fun since I signed him and it is important you have players like that playing regularly.
"It is a really big game for us because a win would suddenly put us right at the top of the bottom pack and even push us to the bottom of mid table."
Looking back on Saturday's victory, Taylor admitted his preparations had been anything but smooth, although he was delighted with the end performance from his players.
"It was probably one of the toughest weeks in management I have had leading up to the game because I thought I was only missing one player in the build-up but, come match day, I was missing seven," Taylor said.
"I had to change things around a lot in terms of formation to accommodate the changes and I was a bit cautious going into the game, but we were absolutely superb."
Witheridge boss Chris Vinnicombe does not feel a lack of match practice will hinder his side when they entertain St Blazey on Saturday.
The Edge Down Park side have not played a competitive fixture since December 8, but they are keen to extend their current five-match winning streak.
Vinnicombe said: "We want to get back in the swing of things as soon as we can.
"I don't think not playing in so long is a disadvantage because you can see the boys in training are keen to get out on the pitch again and continue our winning run.
"You can see that they want to get out there and play, get more points on the board and also help the club climb out of this division.
"We played Alphington on Saturday, which I'm very grateful to (Alphington manager) John Moore for, and we won 2-1," he said. "We said before the game that it was just to blow out some cobwebs, and it was a little frustrating because we were sloppy.
"But it has helped because we needed to get back into the swing of things again."
Bovey Tracey are not in action following their 1-1 draw with St Blazey last time out, thanks to Ryan Stanbridge's last-minute equaliser.