Hemel Hempstead Town boss Jones wants to 'keep progressing'
The Tudors have pulled themselves away from the bottom of the table under manager Mark Jones
Mark Jones wants Hemel Hempstead Town to “keep progressing” in the second half of their Vanarama National League South campaign.
The Tudors’ league season reached the halfway stage as they were beaten 3-1 by high-flying Ebbsfleet United at Vauxhall Road on Saturday.
But, in the overall picture, Jones has helped get Hemel back on course after a poor start to the season left them bottom of the table before previous manager Lee Bircham departed.
Jones has led the club back up the table and well clear of the sole relegation spot this season.
One of the big targets will be to secure a much-needed first home win of the campaign with the next chance to do that being this weekend when Bath City are the visitors.
But, overall, boss Jones is content with the work done so far.
“When we came into the club at the end of September, I think there was only one point on the board and they were rock bottom of the table,” the Tudors manager said.
“If you had said to us that, after 14 more league games, we would find ourselves further up the table and 12 points clear of the bottom then I think we would have taken that.
“We haven’t done too badly but we have to look forward into the second part of the season and see if we can keep progressing.
“You can’t afford to stand still in football because people are always improving at our level.
“Other teams will be improving throughout the season and we have to make sure we do that too.
“I think I am quite satisfied with what we have done so far but there is still plenty of improvement that can be done.”
Jones, meanwhile, felt his team were simply beaten by a better side on the day as Ebbsfleet moved to the top of the table after their 3-1 success at Vauxhall Road last weekend.
The defeat came after Hemel had claimed a superb 3-1 victory at St Albans City in their opening game of the year.
“I don’t think we played as well as we did against St Albans the week before,” Jones added.
“But sometimes you have to say you were beaten by the better team.
“I think they are going to be right up there at the end of the season and, on the day, they were too good for us.
“What we tried to do tactically didn’t work. The idea was to let them come on to us and then try to get them on the break.
“The idea was to try to win the ball back off them in the midfield areas and then counter-attack but the problem with that was that they were so good we couldn’t get the ball off them!
“Consequently, we allowed them too much possession and they dictated the game.
“Lessons have been learned but we were up against an excellent team and we weren’t quite good enough to deal with their quality on the day.”