16 August 2011

Hodges hopes for big crowd tonight

Source: Western Morning News
Truro City boss Lee Hodges is hoping Cornish football supporters turn out in their droves for tonight's first Conference South match in the county at Treyew Road.
Hodges' promoted side host Eastleigh three days after kicking off their league season with a hard-fought 1-0 win at pre-season play-offs favourites Chelmsford City in Essex.

Hodges said: "I really do hope we get a good crowd in – it lifts the lads.
"They ran their socks off on Saturday and got the result we all wanted, but now we've got to go again – and the support we get will play a huge part."

Eastleigh finished eighth in the Conference South last term, Chelmsford fourth, but Hodges is under no illusions about the task in hand.
Hodges said: "We knew it wouldn't be easy at Chelmsford and Eastleigh present another tough test for us, because they are experienced in this league and will be anxious to bounce back after losing 2-0 at home to Basingstoke.

"That's why it's all the more important to get every advantage we can – and a big home crowd is one of them.
"We had 50 or 60 supporters up at Chelmsford on Saturday, and there was a group of them behind one of the goals that sang from start to finish and it was great.

"Last season I think we averaged something like 500-plus at home games and it would be great to bump that up now that we are in a higher division."
Truro are the first Cornish club to play in the Conference and Hodges is anxious to build on last season's promotion success as Southern League champions. As a 37-year-old experienced former professional, he is also aware of the pitfalls of getting carried away by an opening day win.

"It's the first match at the start of a long season, and last season I always gave the boys six-match targets. It worked last season, so there is no need to change it for this one," Hodges added.
"I have given them a six-match target and it is up to them to reach that and then build on it.
"They have set themselves a high standard already by winning at Chelmsford, but it's important that we remain focused on longer-term targets because that's what worked well for us before."

Substitute Dan Smith scored last Saturday's 80th-minute winner, after being introduced in the 71st minute for Les Afful. Hodges hopes to select from his weekend squad, and is anxious to give teenage midfielder Cody Cooke a reserve-team run-out soon.

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