Fingers crossed for O’Neill and Keane – and bring on Edgar Davids!

Since my last column, we’ve played three games, including booking our place in the next round of the FA Trophy with a win over Bognor on Sunday.

I’ll come on to the league form in a minute, but beating Bognor has given us a fantastic tie against Barnet, managed by Dutch legend Edgar Davids.

The game on 30 November gives us a chance to test ourselves against Conference Premier opposition and see how far we’ve really come.

For us to be hosting a team that were last year playing League Two football is tremendous for the club. Edgar will obviously be a big draw and we’re all really looking forward to it.

I played against Edgar for Ireland at Anfield when Holland beat us 2-0 to reach Euro ’96. I don’t remember much about him – only Patrick Kluivert, who I was marking.

He is very much a different character, being player-manager and wearing the number one shirt. But he’s doing the right things there in difficult circumstances.

There are similarities between us in that we’re both internationals who could have got a job higher up the ladder, coaching under-21s or kids, but we’ve chosen to learn our trade in non-League.

I’ve had quite a few texts from the lads since the draw and the thread running through them all has been ‘bring it on’.

In the league we’ve lost to Staines but beaten Whitehawk and we sit fifth going into this weekend’s game with Weston-super-Mare.

We could be in an even better position – I actually think we’ve given away far too many points. Some of the games we’ve lost we shouldn’t have done, but we’re a young side and we’re learning week by week.

We have two home games in the space of a few days next week. We beat Weston 3-0 at their place only a few weeks ago but it will be a tough one as they will come to our patch not wanting to be turned over twice.

Then we play Ebbsfleet next Tuesday night. I watched them play Bromley in the FA Trophy on Saturday and it was a convincing win but not a convincing performance.

They’ll be demanding more from their season, given that they had a reported £100,000 to spend in the transfer market, which is virtually unheard of at this level.

I’ve brought in a couple of players on loan to freshen up the squad, Louis Dennis from Dagenham and Matty Harriott from Northampton.

Before I went for the job I analysed at what point the results weren’t going so well and funnily enough it was this time last year, FA Trophy time.

They were 2-0 up at Corby and lost 3-2 and that kind of destabilised the club’s season. With the starting XI all playing so regularly and the pitches playing up it’s important to add to the squad now to keep things fresh.

Louis is a fantastic talent – he was virtually unplayable at times on Sunday – while Matty Harriott is the type of player we haven’t really had, a terrier-type in midfield.

Finally, it’s interesting to see my old Ireland team-mate Roy Keane back with the national team, as coach alongside Martin O’Neill.

There you’ve got a very successful domestic manager and a very successful international footballer, you could argue it’s a match made in heaven.

They will be focusing on the big picture of pulling Irish football up by its bootstraps, which means a lot to the whole country.

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