DAVE Shaw’s goals spoke volumes on the pitch.
The Rocester manager struck 54 goals in just 100 games during three spells at Hillsfield – not including his late cameo against Loughborough University last weekend.
Rocester’s fans have been used to blood and thunder from the dugout in recent times, with managers including the recently sacked Mark Kavanagh and no-nonsense Dave Langston.
Shaw goes about his business in a less vocal manner, and his talking is still taking place on the pitch with three wins from seven games and a spot outside the drop zone for the first time since October.
“He’s very different to most managers we’ve had here,” said Rocester director Barry Smith.
“I hesitate to use the words quietly spoken, but he’s not too vociferous in the dressing room.
“Most mangers need to fire players up in a different way.
“Dave’s more of an Arsene Wenger type. He thinks more about what he’s saying.
“In a way it’s refreshing to have – and the players respond to that and respect him.”
Rocester’s bid to move further up the Midland Alliance table was thwarted by a waterlogged Continental Star pitch on Wednesday evening.
But Smith is confident the Romans have enough ability – particularly with star striker Dan Brown firing on all cylinders – to avoid the drop.
He said: “Dave has brought a few players in who can score goals and that’s key.
“That’s the major difference. Even against Loughborough, you look at the 3-0 scoreline and it looks like we have been thumped.
“For the first 35 minutes we were the better side. We now look like we can create and look like we can score.”
Rocester’s three wins since Shaw took charge have all been against sides battling the drop.
“That gives us a great chance of staying up,” said Smith. “We have not lost against the teams around us.
“I think we have enough to survive. In Dan Brown we’ve someone with a bit of nous in and around the box – and we have missed that in the past.
“There are six teams at the bottom in a little league of their own. We have to finish in the top half of that little league.”
Off the pitch Smith says the Romans are in pretty decent shape.
“We are stable,” said the Rocester director. “We don’t owe anyone anything which is key.
“We are paying our way, but that doesn’t mean we have a lot of money. We have enough to pay out a little bit in terms of player expenses.”
Rocester are without a game tomorrow. They return to action with a Staffordshire Senior Cup second round tie away to Norton United on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.
HEATHER St John’s will be aiming to push Rocester back into the relegation zone when they hosts AFC Wulfrunians on Saturday – weather permitting.
In other matches involving Rocester’s rivals down at the wrong end of the Midland Alliance table, sixth-bottom Heath Hayes face a tough trip to Loughborough University.
Dunkirk, who are just two points above the Romans, are at Colehill Town.
Second-bottom Continental Star host high-flying Tipton Town.
Gornal Athletic, like Rocester, have a weekend off.
The league’s bottom side must wait until a week tomorrow when they will be the latest of the division’s strugglers to travel to Loughborough University.