Chapman pledges to turn it around

Lowestoft's Mickey Chapman says the “knives are out” for him and fellow joint manager Ady Gallagher - but is confident the duo can turn around the Blues' ailing fortunes.

Lowestoft's Mickey Chapman says the “knives are out” for him and fellow joint manager Ady Gallagher - but is confident the duo can turn around the Blues' ailing fortunes.

A 6-0 defeat at champions Wroxham in midweek was just the latest in a long line of disappointing results for Lowestoft, who have lost four of their last five Ridgeons Premier Division games.

And Chapman was shooting from the hip this week when he gave a candid assessment of the tasking he and Gallagher face.

“There are no excuses at the moment - we have simply not been good enough recently,” said Chapman, who helped lead Lowestoft to the league title in 2006.

“That goes for all of us, every single player, everyone at the club and both Ady and I. We've got to look at ourselves - as what we are doing is not good enough. Everyone at the club is not happy with the current level of performance and we're not happy with the results - in fact we are a bit embarrassed about it.

“As managers Ady and I are not going to hide or shirk any responsibility - we'll stand up and be counted. Me and Ady know that the knives are out, but we'll stand up and take the flak. It's easy to hide, but I've never been one to do that -we'll stick together as a unit and won't shirk responsibilities.”

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Chapman is hoping the revival begins at Crown meadow tomorrow when Town face Felixstowe & Walton. Marcus Saunders is suspended, Richard Woodrow should return after injury while Matty Potter is back in contention. Reece Hunn is two weeks away from full fitness while goalkeeper Andy Reynolds is back in training and will be available when he returns from suspension.

League leaders Wroxham travel to Walsham-le-Willows without striker Ben Thompson (work commitments) and left back Shaun Howes, who is unavailable. Centre back Josh Carus is also doubtful with bruised toes.

Paul Cook is expected to come in alongside striker Lee Gilman, Danny Self will start at left back and Leighton Miller will be earmarked to fill in if Carus does not report fit.

Needham Market - who have won seven out of seven to lie four points behind the Yachtsmen with two games in hand - travel to Swaffham.

Dereham travel to CRC hoping to take their unbeaten run to six - they haven't been beaten since opening day when they lost at Leiston, winning four and coming back from two goals down to draw at Mildenhall in midweek. Defenders Brendan Foley (unavailable) and James Wilson (injury) will be missing but manager Rob Taylor will give late fitness tests to midfielders Sam Willis and Nicky Howell.

Norwich United are making a better fist of things this season and include new signings George Jermy, from Kirkley, and Nicki Young, from Huntingdon Town, in their squad to play King's Lynn Reserves at The Walks.

Adam Smith and Ryan Haynes should also return after missing the FA Vase encounters with Blackstones, but Paul Atkins, Danny Crane and goalkeeper Matt Hill have not recovered from injury and miss out.

Wisbech Town are looking for a new management team following the resignation of Ian Jones and Mel Mattless.

The Fenmen were thrashed 9-0 at Soham in midweek - just days after the 5-0 FA Vase exit at Walsham-le-Willows. They are at home to Mildenhall today and have Grant Rider and Billy Smith available, with Scott Cubberley and Stuart Ablett returning to the squad after missing the Soham match.

In Division One, bottom side Fakenham travel to the team immediately above them, Cornard, while Diss travel to Godmanchester, Yarmouth entertain Tiptree, Gorleston are at Hadleigh and Thetford face Saffron Walden.

(.) Kirkley & Pakefield take on the unbeaten Leighton Town from the Midlands Southern League in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup at Walmer Road today (3pm).

A big crowd is expected for Kirkley's biggest game for several years and will be hoping for a better performance than last week's disappointing FA Vase exit against St Ives.

“League status makes us underdogs, but we have the home advantage and if we can emulate the Wroxham performance, we are in with a chance,” said manager Nick Shorten.

Shorten has doubts over the Chenery brothers, Karl and Justin, and centre back Ryan DeCoteau, who has a knee injury.

Off the field, the Kirkley side boosted their ranks by signing Lowestoft Reserves and Suffolk U18 defender Scott Manning.