NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Wisbech St Mary face 'very hard task' in relegation battle, says boss Kaufman
PUBLISHED: 13:01 03 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:01 03 February 2020
Alex Kaufman admits his Wisbech St Mary team have got a "very hard task" in their bid for step six survival after their heavy home defeat against the league leaders.
The Saints boss was complimentary of opponents Mulbarton Wanderers following their 5-0 victory in Thurlow Nunn League First Division North on Saturday.
Kaufman's men are now seven points adrift at the bottom, but even though his side paid the price for missed opportunities, the former Chatteris Town chief recognised the quality they were up against.
"Mulbarton are a team we have to aspire to be like," Kaufman said.
"They're well-oiled and well-organised. They set a really strong midfield block which we couldn't break.
"In the first-half, we were too direct. We knew they'd be dangerous from wide areas and set pieces.
"In the second-half, I said we've got to retain the ball better and we did that. We created two good chances and we started to look a threat.
"Suddenly, we changed what we did, and that's probably confidence more than anything.
"After the third goal, our effort levels went out the window, mistakes opened up and when Mulbarton are as fit as they are, they're going to punish you, and that's what's happened."
The club welcomed over 100 fans to Saturday's match for free as part of a drive to encourage more support from the local community.
Kaufman fielded new signings in goalkeeper Quincy Shorunmu and forwards Matt Harris-Hercules and Aidan Sewell, but despite not impressing a healthy crowd, he was not too critical of his team's display.
"We've got a very hard task of getting ourselves out of this relegation battle," he said.
"I'm not annoyed or frustrated because we've got to end up being like them. If one of those goes in, getting that extra goal gives us momentum.
"Jake Miller's work rate was excellent. Matty didn't do a lot wrong, but he's got to be stronger and he knows that.
"Quincy made a superb save when we were 2-0 down, and his handling and organisation were very good.
"He's not fully fit, but we know that once he's ready, we'll have a hell of a 'keeper on our hands."
Saints begin back-to-back away games at AFC Sudbury Reserves on Saturday, 3pm.