FOOTBALL: NEW Aveley boss Lee Hodges has seen enough from his first two games in charge to convince him that the Millers can steer clear of relegation trouble this season, writes James Colasanti.

The 33-year-old rookie manager has had two wins from two so far, with Saturday’s comeback success at home to Horsham lifting them clear of the drop zone.

The former West Ham midfielder had a nine-game spell in caretaker charge of Billericay three seasons ago and did some coaching at Thurrock, but he admits taking over the hot-seat at the Mill Field has presented him with new challenges.

He said: “I always felt Aveley was the right opportunity for me to get into management properly.

“And it has been nice to start with a couple of wins, but it has been a bit nerve-wracking. I was never a nervous player, but I have felt the nerves doing this.

“But I got that buzz back that I had when I was a player. And with Joe Keith and Jason Broom here, and with the building blocks of a good team, I think we can improve on our league position and pull away to safety.”

So far Hodges has brought in five new players, with club captain Micah Hyde leaving the club.

He enjoyed a 2-1 Essex Senior Cup win at Redbridge in his first game in charge, and followed that up with a 2-1 victory at home to fellow strugglers Horsham on Saturday.

Aveley have not got a game this weekend, and Hodges, who took over from the departed Carl Griffiths earlier this month, says that will give him time to work on tactics with his new side.

He said: “What we need now is a bit more structure in certain situations in matches, and a bit more of a professional approach. And if we can put that in place then we can have a positive season.”