Much-needed return from lockdown aims to lift Saints’ survival hopes
- Credit: Archant
Stuart Beckett hopes a return to action this weekend can help bring his Wisbech St Mary players some much-needed enjoyment in their battle to beat the drop.
Saints play for the first time since November 4 when they lost to Fenland rivals March Town, leaving them rooted to the bottom of Thurlow Nunn League First Division North.
Beckett’s men took a second-half lead in that match before conceding five goals without reply, but there were still positives to take moving forward.
“It’s nice to be getting back out there, getting the legs moving and some enjoyment back in our lives,” Beckett said.
“It was never going to be easy, but we said after that game we’ve given ourselves a platform.
“For us to be able to mix with them puts us in a good position and we’re feeling positive going back into at least a game before Christmas.”
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Before lockdown, Saints picked up their first league win of the campaign against Diss Town, which pushed them to within touching distance of their closest rivals.
But despite building a platform to progress, Beckett is not getting complacent about his side’s chances.
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“We’ve put huge pressure on ourselves for the second-half of the season and it certainly won’t get any easier,” he said.
“We aren’t under any illusions we’ll come out and get the points we need by doing nothing.
“As long as we can play at 100 per cent and playing to what we can for 90 minutes rather than 60 or 65, we’d be a hell of a lot closer in games.”
A bottom-half clash with Cornard United on Saturday, December 12 at the FTL Commercials Ltd Stadium, 3pm, is followed by trips to AFC Sudbury Reserves and March before welcoming Lakenheath in the new year.
It’s a run that the Saints boss knows will be tough, on top of the added worry of forward Ryan Lennon who is struggling with a hamstring injury.
But with two signings in the pipeline, Beckett believes time will tell if his team can kick on.
“We’ve had a month off and it will be testament to the players how they come out of lockdown and where we go from here,” he added.
“We feel like we want to get out there and try to put right the wrongs.”
“We’ve had a lot of sloppy starts that we’re trying to eradicate now. Conceding early, you give yourself so much harder work, so it’s something we want to kick on from.”