Bullard effect will not faze the in-form Marketmen

NO DISTRACTIONS: Richard Wilkins says Needham will not be put off by seeing Jimmy Bullard sat in the Leatherhead dugout

NO DISTRACTIONS: Richard Wilkins says Needham will not be put off by seeing Jimmy Bullard sat in the Leatherhead dugout

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Needham Market assistant boss Richard Wilkins believes his side will not be fazed by the occasion when they face Jimmy Bullard’s Leatherhead tomorrow (3pm), writes Alex Moss.

The former Wigan Athletic, Fulham and Ipswich Town midfielder was appointed as the new manager at Leatherhead last Saturday, with the Marketmen the opponents for his first home game in charge this weekend.

The 37-year-old, who appeared on the I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! reality show in 2014, has attracted plenty of media attention after taking over the vacant manager’s position at Fetcham Grove.

But Wilkins is determined to grab the headlines with his Needham side when they travel into Surrey tomorrow.

“Jimmy Bullard is a lively character and a very good footballer in his time,” said Wilkins, after watching the Marketmen thrash Grays Athletic 5-1 to climb up to fourth in the Ryman League Premier Division table on Tuesday.

“No doubt it’ll attract a lot of interest but we’ve got to get our heads down and not worry about the publicity. We need it to be about Needham.”