'We are not ready to compete for the top five places' - Needham Market boss Wilkins
PUBLISHED: 08:43 05 January 2019
Needham Market boss, Richard Wilkins, has admitted that his side are "not ready" to compete for a place in the top five of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Central.
The Marketmen face a tricky Suffolk derby at struggling Lowestoft Town this afternoon, after crashing to a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of promotion-chasing King’s Lynn Town on New Year’s Day.
That result has left the Bloomfields club in eighth spot, although they remain only one point adrift of the top five, and so the play-off zone.
Even so, Wilkins is playing down his side’s chances of gate-crashing the top five.
“We were very poor in the first half against King’s Lynn,” admitted Wilkins.
“We allowed them to play their game, because we did so many things wrong, so it was difficult to work out how good King’s Lynn really were.
“We let ourselves down on the day, and our supporters. We made wrong decisions, people were not going with the runners, and we panicked a little bit on the ball.
“We looked a bit lost, and we didn’t have the same experience on the pitch as King’s Lynn. We were found wanting in that game.
“However, we have drawn a line under it. We know where we went wrong, and we know where we are at, as a club.
“I don’t think we are ready to compete for the top five places at the moment, and that is not me trying to put a dampener on what has already been a decent season.
“We just want to carry on, and try to improve our performances.
“We are not far off the top five, but that’s just where I feel we are as a club. We are not quite up there at the moment.
“We have not managed to beat any of the top teams so far this season. We are capable of competing with them, on our day, but we haven’t been able to beat any of them.
“This weekend will be a good test, at Lowestoft. They are at the wrong end of the table, but they are a big club at this level.”
Lowestoft are two places and one point above of the relegation zone, although they have played a game more than third-from-bottom Halesowen, and two more than fourth-from-bottom Hitchin. The Trawlerboys were beaten 2-1 at home by Leiston on New Year’s Day.