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'I think the play-offs are beyond us' – Needham boss Wilkins

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 March 2019

Jake Dye, rated as 50:50 because of an ankle injury ahead of Needham Market's trip to Banbury United. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Jake Dye, rated as 50:50 because of an ankle injury ahead of Needham Market's trip to Banbury United. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Archant

Needham Market boss, Richard Wilkins, admits that reaching the Ev-Stik Southern League Premier Central play-offs would be “too much to do” for his side, following an awful February.

Wilkins’ men are now eight points adrift of the top five, and have played at least one game more than all their rivals, following a lean February which featured just one point gained from a possible 12.

The Marketmen have dropped to ninth, following defeats at Kettering and Redditch United (4-1 last weekend), a 2-0 home loss to Royston and 1-1 draw against Halesowen.

Today they make the long journey to Banbury United, in Oxfordshire.

“We have slipped back off our previous levels, and some of the players are lacking in confidence,” explained Wilkins.

“We are in a rut at the moment. The ball is not falling for us, and although we have played some good stuff between the boxes, we have been making errors in our box and have not been clinical enough in the other.

“We are below where we should be, and I thing the play-offs are beyond us now. We have too much to do.

“There are a lot of teams above us, and big clubs at that.

“It might have been different, even if we had managed to pick up just six points during February, but we have ended up dropping points to teams below us in the league.

“However, we still want to finish in the top 10 and we want to give our fans and all our club volunteers a boost, by finishing the season strongly.

“We have rather lost our way at the moment. We have not been good enough in both boxes, and it’s difficult to pick up any momentum when there are no midweek games and you end up stewing during the week after a defeat,” added Wilkins.

Midfielder Gareth Heath is doubtful because of illness, while defenders Jake Dye (ankle) and Dan Morphew (heel) both face late fitness tests.

Wilkins confirmed: “Jake (Dye) is 50:50 because of his ankle, while Dan did not train on Thursday, though hopefully he will be all right.”

Banbury are 14th, nine points adrift of Needham.

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