Lowestoft must maintain focus to stay in play-off contention, says Craig Fleming
06:30 28 February 2014
(C) James Bass 2012
Lowestoft Town are right back in contention to snatch a play-off place after successive victories on the road at Carshalton Athletic and Billericay.
In the week a new committee was formed at the club, Lowestoft have closed the gap on the top five to five points and they could get one over another of their promotion rivals tomorrow when high-flying Maidstone come to Crown Meadow (kick-off 3pm).
Director of football Craig Fleming has now challenged his players to show they can last the distance and not lurch back into the inconsistency that has plagued their season so far.
“We are on the outskirts now and we need to make sure we don’t tail off again,” he said. “We’ve been here before where we think we’re on a run after two or three games and then we’ve come unstuck – normally against the lesser teams.
“We’ve now got a chance to lay down another marker against Maidstone, who are one of the better teams in the division and we want the lads to take it.”
A succession of injuries towards the end of last year threaten to derail the Blues season but players are starting to rediscover their form and fitness. So much so that Fleming believes there isn’t another team that can match them for ability in the Ryman Premier Division.
“I always believed we would be right up there again,” he said. “When we’ve got a full squad to choose from I honestly believe we’re the best team in the division.
“I’m obviously biased on that but I do. We shouldn’t fear anyone at this level.”
Fleming admitted the management team is currently scouring the leagues for reinforcements following Manny Osei’s departure for Leiston last week.
However, the former Norwich City defender admitted the search for players who could add something to their existing mix would not be easy.
“I think we’ve got the talent to be right up there again – in an ideal world we would have another couple of players but we will have to wait and see,” he said. “Hopefully we can bring one in but some of the money being thrown around the division is incredible.”
One player who certainly won’t be turning out for the Blues is Fleming himself.
Veteran Ipswich Town defender Fabian Wilnis has signed for rivals Leiston but Fleming is not tempted to follow suit. “I’ve thought about it a couple of times in the past but my body’s in bits now,” he said. “You’d have to put me back together again afterwards.”