Morsley remaining calm in face of challenging week of fixtures

STILL ABSENT: Sam Newson remains three weeks away from a return
STILL ABSENT: Sam Newson remains three weeks away from a return
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Mark Morsley is aware the coming week will be a test of Needham Market’s promotion aspirations but does not feel it will define the club’s season.

Having seen their encounter away at Romford on Wednesday postponed, the Marketmen will now turn their attentions to a visit from second-placed Soham Town Rangers tomorrow (3pm) before visiting seventh-placed Dereham Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).

It will form a week that could have strong implications on the play-off picture come May.

And although Morsley is well aware of the stern tests facing his eighth-placed side, currently three points off the play-off places, the manager was keen to put things into perspective.

“This coming week will be a real test of our promotion aspirations to see where we stand and how we match up,” he said. “But to put things in context, we could lose both of these games and still win the league.

“Saturday’s match will be a really interesting test because they have been on a great run and really come from nowhere to be where they are.

“Dereham will be another tough test, they are a decent side at home and it is a game we have to be aware of.

“To me there will only be a real dent to our promotion aims when it is mathematically impossible for us to go up.

“We haven’t had a run like we were after, but the squad is still looking very strong and we are in a strong position.”

Despite the welcome extra week’s break from action, Saturday’s match has still proved too soon for a host of Needham’s absentees.

Sam Newson, who still remains the Marketmen’s leading scorer this campaign, with eight goals, faces at least a further two to three weeks on the sidelines, having sustained a knee injury against Cambridge United in October, while right-back Ollie Brown also remains a long-term absentee.

Winger Ryan Melaugh has also seen his loan spell from Colchester United cut short after suffering an injury in the 0-0 draw with Chatham Town last time out.

“Losing Ryan is a real shame, he had been in good form since signing on loan but unfortunately sustained an injury early against Chatham,” added Morsley.

“It is disappointing but we have to brush off the loss and get on with things now.

“Despite still suffering from a number of injuries we look strong and have looked good in recent weeks so hopefully we find some form.”