Marketmen building for future as they bid to improve home form
Needham Market may be struggling for form at their Bloomfields base right now, but the club moved to lift some of the gloom this week with the news that three players have put pen to paper on contract extensions.
Kieran Morphew, Dan Morphew and Luke Ingram are the squad members in question, the trio having signed ‘long-term deals’ to remain with the Bostik League Premier Division club.
Jamie Griffiths, Gareth Heath and Jack Dye are already committed for next term, and boss Richard Wilkins is hoping others will follow suit in the near future.
“The club needs to build around these types of players so we are delighted to have signed them up,” he said.
“They know what the club is trying to do and were happy to sign on. It was a quick process.
“I am hoping to sit down over the next month with the rest of the players and get things sorted.
“A lot of the lads have been with the club a long time and it is good to have that settled base.”
That news has given Needham a much-needed boost ahead of tomorrow’s home encounter against play-off chasing Hendon (3pm).
Last weekend Kingstonian became the latest side to leave Suffolk with all three points, scoring once in either half to render John Sands’ late effort nothing more than a consolation.
It is an all-too familiar story for Wilkins’ men, who have the worst home record of the 24 teams in the Premier Division.
They have won just twice in front of their own supporters this term, picking up a meagre total of 11 points from a possible 42.
Wilkins feels his team have been unlucky on a number of occasions, but with them languishing in 21st place and only five points off the one relegation spot, he knows things must change quickly.
“Against Kingstonian we were dominant. We created so many chances and did not take them — they had three and scored two,” added the boss.
“I am fed up of opposition managers saying to me after games they did not deserve anything from the game and yet they walk away with three points.
“Not many teams have left Bloomfields and deserved to win the game. There has only been a couple of times when our performances at home have warranted nothing.
“But I know I sound like a broken record, saying the same thing. Something needs to change and it is down to us to work hard and make it happen.
“It would be great to say we were awful against Hendon but we won — that might be the sort of thing that turns our season.”
Wilkins will have to make do without striker Griffiths for the next few weeks after he limped off against Kingstonian with a knee injury.
Former Luton Town defender Curtley Williams is also likely to sit out the Hendon clash with a similar injury, but Wilkins is hoping to boost his squad going into the game.
“We could do with one or two more bodies to freshen things up a little bit,” he said.
“We are probably going to be missing Jamie for a little while and Curtley has been great for us since he came in but he is struggling.
“We need a little bit of cover at the back and with Jamie out for a bit it would be good to get a striker in, although that is always tough.”