LIAM Whipps is enjoying the freedom and trust that he is being given by Witham Town manager Marc Benterman this season after his successful loan spell at Halstead Town last year.

Having impressed during his temporary spell in Thurlow Nunn League division one south with Halstead last season, Whipps is glad to be back at the Simarco Stadium and is enjoying working under Benterman.

The young Witham full-back felt his loan at Halstead was a productive period as he benefitted from working with Humbugs boss Mark McLean and is enjoying a similar experience this year, with Benterman giving him licence to express himself on the pitch.

Whipps said: “The loan at Halstead was good as I got the chance to play with a bit more freedom while I was there and had an opportunity to trust myself a bit more.

“I had a manager there who trusted me and gave me the freedom to play and it’s the same now with Marc (Benterman).

“He gives me that freedom and lets me play.

“He’ll tell me when I’m not doing what he wants, but he’s also quick to say well done when I’ve done something right.

“That’s all you can ask for as a player.

“It’s all about trusting yourself and the players around you and I know we have the team to do well this year."

Witham have had a mixed start to the season, though.

After making a solid start, their form has stalled in recent games and last weekend's 4-1 defeat at Heybridge Swifts was a fourth consecutive BetVictor Isthmian League outing without a win.

On the back of that run, Town know that Saturday's home game against Felixstowe & Walton United - one of only four sides below them in the table - is an important one.

However, Whipps is confident that Witham have the talent in their squad to press up the table and not have a repeat of last year when they finished the campaign battling to stay clear of the relegation scrap.

He added: “I definitely see mid-table as being what we can achieve this year and I’d be gutted if it was anything less.

“The team we have got is an unbelievable outfit.

“Even the boys on the bench or who haven’t been in the team on certain days are pushing and it’s an all-round squad performance from us every week.

“We just need to keep working hard and working for each other.

“We must make sure we’re making the right decisions on the pitch and we have to take the game to the other teams.

“Sitting back and letting pressure come on us is going to hurt in this league.

“We need to play with a freedom and to trust each other.

“Playing with confidence is going to be the key.

“The talent is definitely in the team – more than enough talent.

“We can definitely be sitting in mid-table by the end of the year.

“We just have to keep grinding out results in this spell coming up and the quality will show."