Reader calls for strength in defence

STRONG BACKLINE: Centre-half Pip Boyland will be looking to shore things up at the heart of the Needham defence

STRONG BACKLINE: Centre-half Pip Boyland will be looking to shore things up at the heart of the Needham defence

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NEEDHAM Market assistant manager Neil Reader has called on his side to be more resolute as they kick off their FA Cup campaign by entertaining Gorleston in their preliminary round tie tomorrow (3pm).

The Marketmen welcome their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division opponents to Bloomfields on the back of a 2-2 home draw with Heybridge Swifts on Tuesday night, in a match that saw the hosts concede two goals on the counter attack.

And although Reader has been pleased with his side’s unbeaten start to the season with one win and a draw, he was left less impressed with the manner of the defensive display and knows things need to be looked at if they are going to secure a victory worth £1,750 and set up a tie against Concord Rangers in the next round.

“We were disappointed with the result on Tuesday because it meant this season we have conceded three goals in two games,” he said.

“We set out not to concede as many goals this season and we are making things hard for ourselves by conceding poor goals.

“Sometimes when you concede goals as we have you need to look at the team as a whole and how we are set up.

“I think it comes down to our mentality and needing to relax in possession at times and dictate the pace of the game more.

“However, we are still unbeaten this season and that is a positive to take forward that we can build on.”

Reader, who has been in charge of team affairs while manager Danny Laws is away, has welcomed the opportunity of being part of the nation’s oldest cup competition, but warned his side not to underestimate the threat of their lower league opposition as he aims to build on momentum.

“It is going to be a really tough game and Gorleston are going to come here with nothing to lose,” he added.

“We have everything to lose and it will be a really tough encounter, but for these guys to get a taste of the FA Cup is exciting.

“The FA Cup at this stage of the season is always something to enjoy with the glamour of the competition.

“No one at our level is going to win the cup but it is a good opportunity to go on a good run and gain some financial rewards that come with the competition.

“Without a doubt a run in the competition can build momentum to take forward and helps create a winning mentality.”