Streetwise Chorley are making progress after difficult start to life in the National League

Jamie Vermiglio
Jamie Vermiglio

Chorley may have drawn a blank in front of goal over the past three games, but boss Jamie Vermiglio believes his team are making progress.

To suggest it has been a baptism of fire for the Magpies in the National League – the top flight of non-league football – since winning promotion last season would be an understatement.

They have won just one game out of 16 and currently find themselves in the relegation zone.

In the first few weeks of the campaign, Chorley found themselves on the receiving end of some hidings – including a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Solihull Moors at home.

However, the last seven games have seen Vermiglio’s men taste defeat just once – albeit they have drawn five, including three successive stalemates.

The manager admits his team are starting to get to grips with the division and are becoming more streetwise.

And at certain points over the last month or so, they have changed tack in a bid to stem the flow of goals which may have led them to be less threatening in attack.

Certainly on Tuesday night they went into the game against leaders FC Halifax Town with a more defensive mindset – and it worked as they returned from The Shay with a point.

“The way that we set up against Halifax was very much to stifle them and frustrate them,” said Vermiglio.

“We are not playing as open as we once did. We are not moving the ball around as fluidly.

“We were finding that when the ball gets turned over, the gaps we were leaving were too big and it was giving teams opportunities to get into our final third quite easily, because of our end position when we were losing the ball.

“We have just worked on being a bit more compact and getting the ball up the field before becoming more fluid.”

This weekend, Chorley make the long trip south to Hampshire where they take on Eastleigh. The Magpies are set to be without skipper Andy Teague, Louis Almond and Scott Leather, while Jake Cottrell is also a doubt.

“I know this weekend’s game is going to be tough,” said Vermiglio. “They play four at the back and are physically strong.

“They are doing okay at the moment. They’ve beaten Torquay, Chesterfield, but we will go there with the mindset of, ‘Can we keep a clean sheet and hopefully nick a goal?’.”