St Francis Rangers manager Kai Bichard believes he can turn his team’s fortunes around, despite the fact his Southern Combination League Premier Division side is still in search of their first point of the season .
The former Fulham and Cardiff youth is relishing the challenge of his first managerial job since taking over when Dave Shearing, who is now his assistant manager, stepped down in November.
This followed the departure of Glenn Chalker who resigned from the post in May, which led to many of the players leaving.
It has been a tough time recently with last week’s 15-0 humiliation by Horsham YMCA being followed by a 10-1 thrashing on Saturday by second-placed Newhaven.
Bichard said: “Last week was dire - I have pride in what I do - on my way to games I have people texting me saying they can’t make it and dropping out, leaving us short.
“I want people who are up for the challenge.
“The short-term goal is to get some points. I honestly believe by the turn of the New Year things will be a lot more steady.
“It’s been hard for the club - we have had to play the youth team and under-21s.
“It’s been a nightmare season for the club, but I’m relishing the opportunity and like working under pressure.
“I have never been relegated anywhere I’ve been and I’m not quitting - whatever happens I’ll see the season out.
“I’m hoping to stay up - I can’t accept being relegated.
“The difference between top and bottom hasn’t been that big.
“I have higbh hopes but it’s not going to a walk in the park. It’s going to take a bit of tgime to get the first win.”
Bichard has links with Sussex-based managers Danny Bloor (Hastings Town) and Burgess Hill’s Ian Chapman having played for them at Eastbourne Borough reserves and Burgess Hill respectively.
He played Ryman League football and County League Premier at Shoreham last season helping them stay up and hopes to pick up some quality players through his connections.
A PE teacher working in South London, Bichard has already made several new signings he hopes will improve the squad.
They include: former East Grinstead Town left back Joel Reyes, Montserrat international centre back Calvin Petrie, formerly of Shoreham, centre backs Conor Hadfield and Craig Kelly, plus midfielder Dave Harris.
New striker Junior Abod has previously played for Walton & Hersham and Ringmer.
Finally midfielder Joel Vian has joined on loan from Bromley and scored for Saints on his debut on Saturday.
Bichard, 25, himself hopes to make an impact on the pitch as well as off but has been serving a six-match ban for a red card during his debut.
St Francis are at home at the Colwell Ground in a local derby against Hassocks on December 28, kick-off 11am.
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