I'll get the show back on the road, says Landesberg

By Danny Caro, October 10, 2013
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The Lions players hold Andy Landesberg aloft after winning the 2012/13 Cyril Anekstein Cup. Photo: Marc Morris

The Lions players hold Andy Landesberg aloft after winning the 2012/13 Cyril Anekstein Cup. Photo: Marc Morris

Andy Landesberg says he is confident of getting London Lions' season back on track despite heavy defeats in his first two games since taking over from Tony Gold.

The Cyril Anekstein Cup winning boss stepped into the role after Gold was asked to step down following five successful seasons, where he took the club from the Herts Senior County League into the Premier Division of the South Midlands League.

Landesberg, who has appointed Jonathan Kurrant as first-team coach, has found things tough early on, losing 4-0 against Hoddesdon Town following by a 5-2 mauling against Harefield United.

The team now finds itself deep in relegation trouble, with just one league win to their name this season.

"I’m quietly confident we’ll get the show back on the road. I believe I have excellent relationships with everyone at the club and that’s important," Landesberg told JC Sport.

Having known that a significant number of players would helped take the club up would not be available for season 2013/14, Gold and former coach Darren Yarlett advised the club against taking promotion to the top flight of the SSML, but Landesberg disagrees. He said: "I’m not sure we’d have been in a better position had we not taken promotion into the Premier Division."

He believes the team can continue to climb the ladder, although he sees it as a long-term project. "It won't get much easier over the next few weeks but we have to follow the principles we want to put in place," he said. "It happens at the highest level of the game down to Sunday morning football.

"The fact is we’re an all-Jewish team punching high. Other teams in our division pay their players and we would never do that. Our focus is on the Jewish community playing at the highest level. We need to build some new foundations.

"This kind of thing happens everywhere. Teams always come to the end of a cycle and it’s our job to analyse the situation and set out a strategy and try to start a new cycle. We’ll make it happen."

Landesberg stays he will use the players that have come through the club’s academy and hopes to bring some experienced players out of retirement.

"Our focus is not to get relegated or go backwards and I believe we can achieve it with the set of players we have.

"I plan to engage the boys I know and have worked with for the last few years. We must build a level of consistency and that will bring the quality up.

"I think we’ve got a good squad, with some experienced players and I’ll try to bring one or two back to the party and I’ll try to get the best out of everyone.

"I’m biased but I think this is a great club. You have to play the hand that you’re dealt. It’s not all about the quality. It’s also about experience, man-management and coaching.

"I’m not the messiah but one of my biggest strengths is man-management and I’ll get them organised, focused and motivated.

"If it doesn’t happen this year we’ll come again but we’ll certainly give it our best shot."

Last updated: 2:28pm, October 10 2013