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Bitton form pleases manager
 Women's Football News 18 Nov 2009
Bitton form pleases manager - 18 Nov 2009 - Women's Football NewsBitton manager Steve Jones is delighted with his team's performances in the opening weeks of the season as they sit on top of Division Two in the Gloucestershire County Women's League.
However he has warned his players to be wary of other clubs in the league moving up to the challenge of trying to beat the team just because they are in the league's top spot.
"We look so good in our attacking areas at the moment and really solid at the back," he said. "It would take a really decent team to hold us back, the way we're playing at the moment. Saying that, I don't want to go overboard, because every game we play is different and as the season goes on many of the teams will be thinking that with us being top of the league, they will really want to beat us.
"With that extra motivation for them, we will really have to be on our guard, keep our feet on the ground and continue to play at the top of our game. The second we get complacent, things can start to go wrong."
The star of the season for Bitton so far has been Sharifa James, who has already bagged a very impressive 22 goals. "Sharifa has been outstanding every Sunday, not just in the goals she scored, but her general play," Jones pointed out. "When she first came to this club she struggled a bit to find the net but once she started, the goals have kept coming.
"I still think she can improve though and that is a frightening prospect for defenders in our league as she always has it in her to bang in the goals. But don't forget that she would not be able to get the opportunities without good players around her, making it easier for her to get on the end of balls.
"A lot of credit has to go to her partner up front, Becky Jones, who has been outstanding. She has missed some decent chances but she does such a lot of hard work off the ball, and brings Sharifa into the game by occupying their centre halves to give her the space to cause damage."
"Becky Hurst is another player at the top of her game," Jones enthused. "She has played down the left in recent games. She gets the ball, links up well with the full back and the central midfielders, and gets into some great positions on that left side. I am pleased to see her taking on full backs and she causes problems all the time with her pace, getting good early crosses in. Also her delivery from set pieces has been superb.
"I am also pleased with 'Joner' in centre midfield too. She has been playing really well, linking up well with the consistent Grace Baker. Having been used up front or wide right in previous years, Joner has really grown in the middle. She looks a strong player and is doing plenty of work in the engine room but I do feel she could add a few more goals to her game.
"I am also pleased with Char Knight. She is a great defender, maybe not the most attacking player around but she can play anywhere in defence, and she will never let you down. The thing with Char is that she understands the game well so reads it all the time and seems to know where to be. She just goes about her job, whereever you put her, quietly and efficiently. Every team needs players like that and she is a great player to have in the squad.
"Another major factor behind the early season success has been the dominance of the centre back pairing, Nat Hole and Meg Price. They are by far the best pairing in our league - and probably a few divisions higher as well - and seem to compliment each other very well. They both look strong, quick and use the ball well setting up many attacks. Price was oustanding last year in a difficult season and has carried on her form but with the excellent Hole alongside her, Bitton look so tight.
"They are forging a really good partnership and along with Knight and Tugwell have only been breached once all season which is a tremendous record for a defence.
"It's all about desire now and this team can achieve what they want to this season, but they need to remain focused and treat every game the same. They are in a great position with a third of the season gone and need to continue the hard work which will bring them the results they want."

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