Coach, Parke warns Old Gold and Blacks against complacency over the Festive period
Tom Parke has warned Stowmarket Town against showing complacency ahead of a busy festive period which includes three games in eight days, writes Alex Moss.
The Old Gold and Blacks welcome Ely City to Greens Meadow tomorrow afternoon (3pm), before visiting Hadleigh United on Boxing Day (11am) and then entertaining Newmarket Town a week today (3pm).
With an eagerly-awaited trip to Biggleswade in the Buildbase FA Vase last 32 to follow on January 6, the focus for Stowmarket over the next two weeks will be on their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division campaign.
But first-team coach Parke has admitted that the Stow players are now playing for their places in the starting line-up at Biggleswade in two weeks’ time.
“I think competition for places is the driving force,” Parke said.
“If I was a Stow player at the moment, if I have a bad game in the league, I’m not playing in the Vase.
“There’s no room for complacency. If you are complacent then you won’t play in the Vase game.
“How can we trust someone to play in that game, and I’m not being horrible here, but they can’t win a home game against a team in the bottom half of the table?”
Rick Andrews’ men picked up one of their most impressive wins of the campaign so far last weekend, after second-half goals from Sam Nunn and Max Melanson secured a hard fought 2-0 victory away at Gorleston.
It was a first away triumph in the Premier Division since September for the Old Gold and Blacks, and keeps them just three points adrift of leaders Histon, who have played four games less.
While some observers were quick to write off Stow’s chances of league success in 2018-19 after slipping down to sixth, Parke says the league is still a priority.
“I hate it when people say we’ve got to think about one thing and focus on one game,” he said.
“The mentality for Saturday is it’s the league and we want to win the league.
“When it comes to the Vase game, we want to win the Vase. We’re starting to gel now and the league is still a priority for us.”