NEW manager Nicky Hayen says the future is bright at Haverfordwest County AFC as they look to lift themselves out of relegation danger when the Cymru Premier restarts.

The 41-year-old, who played nine seasons at the highest level of Belgian professional football with Sint-Truiden, says he is keen to secure the club’s position in the top flight of Welsh football.

The Cymru Premier is scheduled to resume action in full on the weekend of 8/9 February, after member clubs decided they would rather not play without supporters, under the current Welsh government’s Covid regulations.

With five games to go until the league split, the Bluebirds are second-from-bottom in the table, but they will be looking for an upturn in fortunes in the second half of the season under their newly-appointed Belgian coach.

“If we can professionalise and train a bit more, then I think that the levels can improve also. I hope I can be an asset for the league and the club,” Hayen told the Western Telegraph.

“These guys have the skills to play the football that I like. I saw a few games from the beginning of the season, they played some nice combination football, but I also saw a game where no one was asking for the ball, and there was a lack of confidence.

"You can make mistakes, but only as long as you learn from them. I want players to play with guts, and with confidence. I am not going to yell, because I am not that type of manager. I try to be positive and that is how I want to work.

"This is what I tell my players, if you want to perform you have to be at 100 per cent – not 99 – you have to be 100. There are 15 games left to play, we are only one point behind. For me, it is not an issue.

"We just have to play our game, starting with the first game. We do not need to look to the long term at the moment. I am confident the future is bright at the club.”

Former player Craig Hanford has joined the club’s backroom staff as a first team coach, with Sean Pemberton having stepped down following the departure of Wayne Jones as manager.

Hayen says he is looking for the coaching staff, playing staff and supporters to come together as a club, and make Haverfordwest AFC something that the community can be proud of.

“The fans are really important, and so is the community," said Hayen. "I am a foreign coach, but I do not want them to see me as one, I am going to join them in the community or whenever something is organised.

"I will be there because I also come from a town where everyone knows each other, and this is a really important aspect for me, as a person as well as a manager.

“We want supporters to come to the stadium, but we also know that we have to convince them with performances and results, and to make them proud.”

On the pitch, the club has confirmed that Corey Sheppard has agreed to return for a second spell, with academy product Iori Humphreys also signing his first pro contract for the Bluebirds.

Meanwhile the club has revealed that Ben Fawcett has been made available for transfer at his own request.

"Until such time as an agreement is reached with another club, Ben remains a key and committed member of the squad," said a club statement.