RECENTLY departed Avenue stalwart, Oli Johnson believes it will take something special for the club to turn their torrid form around.

The side from Horsfall have lost all six matches since Danny Whitaker took over from Mark Bower in the dugout, and it’s difficult to see where the next three points will come from with a trip to high-flying Hyde United awaiting them this Saturday.

They currently sit eight points off safety and 21st in the league table, with only Marske United below them due to their playing record being expunged after they were forced to resign from the league because of financial reasons.

Giving his thoughts on BPA’s current situation, Johnson told the T&A: “It’s hard to say really (when Avenue will turn their form around). I saw every game in full apart from Morpeth in Danny’s first four matches in charge and it’s very hard to judge because as we all know, it’s a physical league and although teams are trying to play better football nowadays, there are a lot of teams with experience and leadership, which Avenue don’t really have because it’s a very young squad.

“There might be some decent footballers there, but you need more than that in this league. I think there have been signs of improvement in some games, but I think it will be a massive task to get out of the trouble that we (Avenue) are in.

“Things might start to click going forward, there’s no denying that, but at the same time it’s difficult to predict when that might happen. Danny has come in and obviously, he’s got his own methods and ideas, and because of that there has been a big culture shift at the club. It will take some time in getting used to the change, so he’ll need everyone to buy into what he wants to do as quickly as possible. It remains to be seen really (what the future holds).

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: New boss Danny Whitaker has an extremely tough job on his handsNew boss Danny Whitaker has an extremely tough job on his hands (Image: Martin Taylor)

Looking ahead to his own future prospects, Johnson confirmed his desire to continue playing football despite his ongoing groin issues, but he ruled out any sort of return to Avenue.

He said: “I think that book is closed now, and rightly so because some things have to come to an end. I need a fresh start and a new chapter.

“At the minute, I need to take some time out to make sure that I get my body right, so I don’t keep putting my body through stress and pain. The aim now is to try and get somewhat fit enough to play and then hopefully I can resume playing.

“As much as I enjoyed my short stint at coaching, I think it was something that just came about. My background is more to do with strength and conditioning and fitness, but I did learn a lot during my brief spell on that side of things.”

Johnson added: “I’m 36-years-old, but I’m a fit guy and train most days. It’s been the injury that’s caused me problems on the playing side of things. If I can get that under control, then I want to continue playing next season at whatever level or whatever team decides to take a punt on me.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Oli Johnson has a desire to continue playing at a good level of footballOli Johnson has a desire to continue playing at a good level of football (Image: John Rhodes)