'We are in a rut' - Needham Market boss Wilkins

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 March 2019

Needham's Gareth Heath, left, who will return after illness for the visit of Tamworth. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Needham's Gareth Heath, left, who will return after illness for the visit of Tamworth. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Archant

Needham Market are desperate to stop the rot, after suffering their sixth defeat in their last eight games with a 2-1 loss at Banbury United last weekend.

Dan Morphew, who is set to start against Tamworth following an ankle injury. Picture: BEN POOLEYDan Morphew, who is set to start against Tamworth following an ankle injury. Picture: BEN POOLEY

The Marketmen host Tamworth in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Central this afternoon, hoping to end a barren spell that has seen them slip to 10th in the table, nine points adrift of the play-offs.

Tanworth have had a change of management recently, and have a new-look team. They are currently three places and fourth points behind the Marketmen, winning four games on the trot before losing at Hitchin Town on Wednesday night.

“We’re finding it tough at the moment,” admitted Needham boss Richard Wilkins.

“I thought we were again the better team at Banbury last weekend, but it was the same old story.

“Their first goal came from a corner, when it should have been a goal-kick, and we made three or four errors in trying to deal with it.

“But we got the equaliser (Joe Marsden penalty) and we played well for the first 25 minutes of the second half.

“We had missed earlier chances, with James Baker heading just wide and Joe Marsden scraping the outside of a post, but we are not getting the run of the ball at the moment. It’s just not running for us.

“We have had two long training sessions this week, to try and get it right for this weekend, and a big three points are on offer against Tamworth.

“We are in a little rut, and we are finding it hard to get out of it,” added Wilkins.

Centre-half Dan Morphew was an unused substitute at Banbury, due to a heel injury that was not worth risking, although he should be fit to feature today.

Russell Short serves a suspension, but inspirational midfielder Gareth Heath is available again after missing last weekend due to illness.

Wilkins added: “Tamworth are a massive club, but they have a new manager who has stripped the club back a lot.

“I think there’s only about three players still there from when we played them (2-1 away win in January), less than 10 weeks ago. They are a physical side with three quick lads up top.”

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