‘We need more points on the board’ – Kirkley & Pakefield boss

Kirkley & Pakefield boss Paul Tong admits his side have got '11 cup finals' ahead of them to try and preserve their Ridgeons Premier League status.

Saturday saw the Royals slip to a 3-1 defeat at Hadleigh after a poor first half performance gave them too much of a mountain to climb in the second period.

And Tong believes Kirkley need to start picking up points sooner rather than later if they are to avoid being dragged into a relegation scrap.

'We're going to have to win a few and I think it's got to the point now where performances don't really matter,' he said.

'We need to get points on the board, that's all that matters. We've got to show that desire and mental strength - sometimes we're going to have to look to win ugly.

'The lads are just going to have to roll up their sleeves and get on with it. It's going to be tough but the way I see it is that we have got 11 cup finals to prepare for.'

Tong had earmarked last weekend's trip to Hadleigh as a match where they should be picking up three points but he believes his side are feeling the loss of several senior players unavailable through injury.

Most Read

'When you look at the squad on Saturday all of them can play U18 football. The future of this club is extremely bright but we just need to get ourselves over the line this season to make sure we stay in the Premier Division.

'We didn't play very well in the first half. But it's a tough ask of some of the younger lads - we were missing the senior experience of players like Russell Stock and Ryan De Coteau and it's only natural we miss them. Young players can be inconsistent but one thing that I cannot fault any of my players on is a lack of effort.

'We came in at half-time 2-0 down, a few words were said and to be fair we took the game to them in the second half and we should have got a draw.

'I expected to get something out of the game - Hadleigh were the better side in the first half but in the second half we did enough to get something out of the game.'

One crumb of comfort was Ryan Crisp getting back in amongst the goals as his second half strike looked to have thrown his side a lifeline.

'That will be good for him and hopefully he can go on a bit of a run now - he certainly looked to be getting back to his normal self.'

Tong has managed to strengthen his squad with the signing of Scott Manning, who should be available for this weekend's trip to Woodbridge.

'Scott should be available and that will be a welcome boost,' added Tong. 'Woodbridge are a very good side and it's been shown that there are no easy games in this league.

'I think the match might just be a little too soon for Russell Stock but there are opportunities for other players to stake a claim in the side.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter