Needham Market boss Richard Wilkins wants his team to be more ruthless, ahead of Lowestoft trip

PUBLISHED: 09:47 07 November 2017

Needham Market's Jack Simmons on the attack during Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Worthing. Photo: BEN POOLEY

Needham Market's Jack Simmons on the attack during Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Worthing. Photo: BEN POOLEY

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Needham Market manager, Richard Wilkins, wants his struggling team to be "more clinical" as the Marketmen bid to steer clear of the Bostik Premier relegation scrap.

Jamie Griffiths in action during Needham's pulsating 1-1 draw against Billericay last Tuesday. The Marketmen will need to replicate that performance at Loweestoft tonight. Picture: BEN POOLEYJamie Griffiths in action during Needham's pulsating 1-1 draw against Billericay last Tuesday. The Marketmen will need to replicate that performance at Loweestoft tonight. Picture: BEN POOLEY

The Marketmen suffered a disappointing 2-0 home defeat at the hands of basement dwellers Worthing on Saturday – it was the West Sussex club’s first league win of the season – such a contrast to the rip-roaring 1-1 draw against promotion favourites Billericay only four days earlier.

Tonight, Needham face a big game at Suffolk rivals Lowestoft Town, who themselves are stuck in the wrong half of the table.

“It was a case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for us over the weekend,” rued Wilkins.

“We started well against Worthing and should have scored one or two goals. But they then gained in confidence and it was definitely a contrast to last Tuesday. We knew that we had to be strong, but a few of the lads were off it.

“Their two goals both came from individual errors, and were breakaway goals, which is frustrating because it was a big game for us.

“Unfortunately, we are just not punishing teams at the moment. We have to be more clinical in the opposing penalty area, because we should also have beaten Dorking (3-2 defeat last month).

“That’s our biggest problem, because I think otherwise we are playing better, from box-to-box, than last season.

“We have to be more ruthless where it counts, because too often players are taking too long to shoot, probably because they are afraid to miss. We had 18 shots on goal against Worthing, but we had other opportunities to shoot,” added Wilkins.

The Marketmen are currently on a very poor run of league form. Since winning 3-1 at Harlow Town on September 26, they have failed to win in six league games, losing five of them and taking just one point from a possible 18, with that draw against Billericay last week.

They have slipped to fourth-from-bottom.

Tonight’s hosts, Lowestoft, have recently appointed former assistant Dale Brooks as their new manager, following Ady Gallagher’s decision to step down after 18 years at the club. They lost 3-1 at home to Met Police on Saturday, leaving them in 17th spot, three points better off than Needham.

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