New Woodley boss James Anderson looks to the future

James Anderson (left) is the new Woodley United manager

JAMES ANDERSON insists it is “business as usual” as he prepares for his first game in charge of Woodley United this weekend.

Anderson has stepped up from his role as assistant manager to replace the outgoing boss Michael Herbert and will lead the Kestrels out against Ascot United in the Hellenic Premier Division on Saturday (3pm).

INTERVIEW: Michael Herbert explains why he left Woodley

Although Woodley have been seeking a replacement for Herbert for much of the season, Anderson only registered his interest last week and was quickly offered the job.

Anderson replaces Michael Herbert

“I saw the belief in the dressing room and the ability in that squad and thought actually I think we can get more out of it,” Anderson told The Wokingham Paper.

“I think Michael could’ve been a part of that, but his mind was made up and for me I thought we should do more here and I wanted to stick around.

“We had a chat a week or so ago with the club with Michael present as well.

“I was offered the job and I wanted to make sure Michael was OK with it.

“We’re very good friends so I didn’t want to be seen to jump in his grave. He was really happy and super supportive so I was delighted to take it.”

He added: “It’s much a continuation of what we’ve been doing over the last 12-15 months.

“Everything we did last year, we’re just building on it.

“Unfortunately Michael’s not carrying on with us, but it’s business as usual really.

Anderson is no stranger to the managerial hotseat.

Before joining Woodley little over a year ago, he briefly ran Highmoor-Ibis’ Allied Counties side and also Tilehurst Albion for around seven years, with Herbert as his assistant for a number of seasons.

It has been a tough start to life in the Hellenic Premier Division for Woodley

It will be a baptism of fire for Anderson with three games in just seven days starting this weekend as he looks to lift the Kestrels away from the relegation zone.

“It’s pretty full on,” he admitted.

“It’s a pretty relentless league but that’s what we do it for, to play games and to win points so I’m really excited and looking forward to it.

“We didn’t expect to win every game this season.

“We’re actually quite pleased with where we’re at and what we’re doing.

“Our target is 30 points and we’re on our way towards that.”

He continued: “I think we should play better. Everybody in the dressing room individually would say they can do better than what they’ve done so far.

“Some of that has been adjusting to the league and some of that has been fitness.

“I think with the team and squad we’ve got we’ll be fine.

“We’ll just keep working hard and keep picking up points and we’ll stay in the league.”

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