Ryman Premier: Mark Morsley admits it's gone a bit flat at Needham Market
PUBLISHED: 15:49 13 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:49 13 April 2017
Johnston Press RESELL
Needham Market manager Mark Morsley hopes his team can get their bid for a Ryman League Premier Division play-off place back on track this weekend.
The Mid-Suffolk side dropped out of the top five for the first time in 182 days when losing 4-1 at Staines at the start of April and then suffered a damaging 2-1 loss at Metropolitan Police last weekend.
With Bognor Regis, Havant & Waterlooville and Dulwich Hamlet seemingly having the top three spots sewn up, it leaves the Marketmen embroiled in a seven-way scrap for the remaining two play-off places.
They host Harrow Borough (15th) on Saturday, then make the short trip to relegation-battling AFC Sudbury on Monday before concluding the campaign with the visit of big-spending rivals Billericay Town.
“It’s gone a little bit flat for us, which is a shame,” said Morsley, who will move into a ‘director of football’ role at Bloomfields this summer, allowing assistant Richard Wilkins to take charge.
“Last season was a great experience for our young squad in terms of dealing with the pressure of a relegation battle and now the experience of dealing with the pressure of trying to make the play-offs will stand them in good stead too.
“Unfortunately we’re struggling with that pressure at the moment, but if we can get two wins this weekend it will make for an intriguing last game against Billericay. They are games we can win, on paper, but as we all know it doesn’t always work like that.”
He added: “In truth, we are probably an eighth-placed team. We’ve over-achieved with being in the top five all season long and that’s credit to the players.
“Our target in year two was always mid-table, establish ourselves at Step Three level and then look to kick on from there. We’ve exceeded that aim, but now we’re in with a chance of making the play-offs we are desperate to take it.
“From a personal level, with me stepping down as manager, I would live to have a crack at the play-offs. I don’t think we would win them, but to reach them would be reward for our efforts this season.
“Whatever happens it’s been a good season. And of course we have our County Cup Final (against Lowestoft Town) to look forward to.”