Saturday, December 8, 2012
Wisbech boss Cliff Humphreys is calling on his ‘band of brothers’ to come together and prevent the club from getting embroiled in a relegation dogfight.
he Harecroft Road outfit have been in sensational form at home this season, winning all four of their London North-East Division Three matches, but have yet to taste victory on the road.
And with the threat of punishment, now thought to be a five-point deduction, for calling off a home clash with Beccles last month – and being unable to raise a side for a hastily-rearranged fixture in Suffolk – Humphreys is urging his players to get Wisbech out of trouble.
The manager said: “If we could put out our ‘A’ squad every Saturday we can match anybody in this league. It’s just not happening at the moment.
“Injuries, family and work commitments are affecting us and there’s the same problems at other clubs. We’re not alone. But we can’t readily go after new players because we’re a little market town up in the north of Cambridgeshire.
“Our season promised so much on our return to London NE Division Three, especially after fine results against Upminster and Harlow. Now our season rests on the next two games - and the result of our appeal.
“If we get big points we’ll be in the top half. If we don’t – and lose the appeal – we’ll be in a dogfight.
“It’s down to what the players want. All I ask is they rally around as a band of brothers, make themselves available– especially for away games – and help Wisbech survive.”
Humphreys’ team’s away-day blues continued on Saturday as they crashed out of the Senior Vase after a third-round defeat at Old Priorians.
However, despite the 55-5 drubbing – against a side who maintained their 100pc record this term – the Harecroft Road chief was pleased with his team’s performance.
He now faces a selection headache ahead of the visit of high-flying Norwich after a host of the club’s second team players travelled to London for the cup clash.
Humphreys said: “It’s a balancing act. It’s a sure way of upsetting the guys if I ask them to travel a 120-mile round trip and then say, ‘now the bigger guys are back for a plum tie, I don’t need you’.
“We will put the same side out, as far as we can.
“The scoreline at the weekend looks humiliating but we were just outgunned by a side who should be playing two or three levels higher than they are.
“We gave up at Sudbury but we did keep going until the end against Priorians and that’s a positive thing. Norwich will bring a strong side to us today but hopefully we can rally the guys and get them firing on all cylinders.”
The last time Wisbech were relegated out of the league, in 2011, they had been docked 13 points for fielding an ineligible player.