Fenmen return from lockdown as boss calls for more time
- Credit: Ian Carter
Wisbech Town boss Brett Whaley says more time is needed if his side are to be match-fit following their first game in weeks.
Whaley oversaw a 2-0 friendly defeat at home to Soham Town Rangers on Tuesday night, despite seeing an Avelino Vieira goal disallowed after a foul in the build-up.
It’s the first time Wisbech have played since a Northern Premier League (NPL) South East Division contest at Loughborough Dynamo on October 24, in what was a close affair with the Greens.
“Some things you can forgive like bad passes as we’ve been out for a long time, but some things you can’t like a goal coming from their ‘keeper’s kick,” he said.
“All of them haven’t played for such a long time and you know that their fitness is not going to be great. I’ve said to them there are things we need to work on.”
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Defender Jack Keeble returned from injury against Soham, while recent signing Kyle Davison-Gordon also featured for Wisbech.
However, there is much to improve on for the Fenmen if they do have the chance to mount a survival bid.
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“We didn’t create a lot. That’s the combination of not playing, a heavy pitch and tired legs,” Whaley said.
“If we’re going back into the league, we’re going to have to create more, otherwise you’re reliant on keeping clean sheets all the time.
“We’re looking to bring two more into the squad. It is a big squad, but we are going to need it.”
In a statement, the NPL board said they will allow teams to restart on December 19 with a view to resuming all league fixtures on Boxing Day.
The decision comes after 76 per cent of NPL, Isthmian and Southern leagues agreed to pause the season until possibly January following a tier system review.
Wisbech said they'd prefer not to play until January 9 at the earliest, and although friendlies are not certain in the meantime, Whaley faces a tough test.
“You have one day when you think you’re not playing for weeks, and then you go full on,” he said.
“You hear their management saying ‘that’s it for Christmas, have a nice time’; we’re thinking there’s a potential fixture round the corner, so it’s a difficult time to manage.”