22nd Nov, 2019

Keylock sets sights on a top four finish

Malvern Editorial 31st Dec, 2013 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

PLAYER-COACH Alan Keylock is convinced Malvern can finish in the top four despite sitting just five points above the relegation zone.

The Spring Lane outfit have already suffered eight defeats, including a 115-0 thrashing at Lichfield, this season following a difficult start to life in Midlands One West.

However, Keylock insisted his side have only been outplayed on two occasions, while he said a string of injuries have been a key factor behind their current plight.

A total of 23 points now separate themselves and fourth placed Hereford, but the experienced forward is confident Malvern can claw back the deficit with a scintillating second half of the campaign.

“To be honest I am a bit of an optimist, but I would like to think we could win every game a part from Burton and Lichfield,” Keylock said.

“If we did that I think we would be in the top four, which is easily achievable if we get everybody back training.

“I genuinely believe in that statement and I don’t think it is outlandish at all.

“Out of the games we have lost we have been beaten twice as we have thrown away the other games. Against Old Laurentians at the start of the season we were absolutely devouring them. But I have never been involved in a game where things have changed so dramatically in the last ten minutes as we gift wrapped it to them.

“I am also fairly certain we have led in ever game other than away at Lichfield this season, but our league position does not reflect that.”

Keylock said Malvern have also been boosted by back-to-back wins over fellow strugglers Whitchurch and Old Laurentians in December and he believed it was a sign of things to come.

“I think the confidence the team has gained over the last two games will hold serious weight for the next quarter,” he said.

“If we can just get the right people back fit then I have got complete faith in this team.

“I also think the break came at the perfect time for us as we have had a couple of weeks off to relax and have a chance to miss rugby again, so I am sure the players will be ready and raring to go.”

Malvern will be looking to continue their climb up the table when they travel to Silhillians on Saturday (2.15pm).

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