Sporting 87 manager Jon Warnock has called upon his side’s ‘togetherness’ to help recover from the ordeal of witnessing Ashley Brown suffer an horrific injury.
The incident, which resulted in a double break in Brown’s right leg, occurred in the 70th minute of the club’s Suffolk Junior Cup third round tie away at West Row Gunners on Saturday and was ultimately abandoned with the scores level at 2-2.
Warnock, who praised the overwhelming support from the football community since the incident, revealed the news had come as a major blow to everyone at the Victory Ground outfit, but believes his squad’s strong bond will help them get through tomorrow’s rearranged encounter.
“It was a distressing time because we are such a close team and Ashley is a big part of that being a key member of the squad, he will be a massive loss,” he said.
“I was over the other side of the pitch, but I heard the snap and soon as you heard the screams you knew it was a serious injury.
“The lads are good mates on and off the field and so I know it will be tough for them to get over what happened.
“However, we will get around each other and hopefully that strong bond will help get us through what is a difficult situation.
“It will act as a motivation in a way, but we have to take the emotion out of tomorrow’s replay and obviously not go looking for revenge.
“We will want to win it even more, but it has to be done in a respectful manner.”
Speaking of the incident, Brown, who underwent an operation on Sunday morning, took the opportunity to praise the action of his team-mates and the messages of support that will help him through his rehabilitation.
“I don’t know what completely happened, but I knew straight away it was serious when I looked down and saw my leg dangling in the wrong direction,” he said.
“The players were around me quickly and were brilliant until the ambulance arrived.
“It is going to be tough but I have had loads of well wishes, which will help me get through.”
The two sides go head-to-head again at West Row tomorrow.