Needham Market boss Mark Morsley admits his side’s FA Cup tie with Stanway Rovers will be a welcome distraction from their league campaign.
The Marketmen have made a tough start to life in the Ryman League Premier Division, with four draws and six defeats from their opening 10 games.
And ahead of hosting lower league Stanway at Bloomfields tomorrow (3pm), Morsley believes a positive result could be the spark which can help get their maiden Premier Division campaign up and running.
“It’s come at a good time for us,” said the Needham boss, who watched his side slump to a 6-0 defeat at Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday night.
“Any win wherever it comes from is a plus point which helps the situation. When you’re winning games it breeds confidence, and after Tuesday night we just need to stick together.”
It’s been a tough week for the Marketmen, who as well as suffering defeats on the road at Merstham (0-2) on Saturday and Wingate on Tuesday, have seen experienced defenders Sam Nunn and Chris Hogg both leave the club.
“With Sam it was Lowestoft Town who made an enquiry and he wanted to go,” explained Morsley. “He was a first choice centre half for us, but the opportunity to play at Conference North level with Lowestoft was one he couldn’t turn down.
“Chris has been offered a full-time coaching job at Ipswich Town. He had been working there part-time, and we thought it might of happened next season rather than this season to be honest.
“We’re looking at bringing in one or two new players and have made several enquiries for a number of positions.
“Whoever comes in will need to improve our squad and add a bit of experience to what we already have here.”
Needham host Stanway at the weekend who play two divisions lower in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, but Morsley has warned his side that they cannot be underestimated.
“We’re the higher league team at home but we can’t underestimate Stanway,” he said. “They’ve had a good season so far in their league.
“I’m hoping we can put in a solid performance, but if we’re not at the races we could lose the game.”
The Marketmen have enjoyed runs to the fourth and third qualifying rounds of the FA Cup in the last two seasons, however Morsley concedes he would rather have Premier Division survival than another extended run in the national competition.
“My track record in the FA Cup is very good,” he said. “We’ve had two very good years in it at Needham, but this season is not about FA Cup or FA Trophy runs it’s about getting our feet stabilised in the Ryman Premier.”
Barring Saturday’s FA Cup tie not producing a winner, Needham will host Heybridge Swifts in the first round of the Robert Dyas League Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).
n For live updates of tomorrow’s tie, follow @lalmoss20