In-form AFC Sudbury looking to stay in touch with Ryman North play-off places

AFC Sudbury manager David Batch

AFC Sudbury manager David Batch - Credit: James Ager

AFC Sudbury boss David Batch has challenged his side to keep on improving and see where it takes them at the end of the season.

The Yellows, who host second-place Thurrock tomorrow in Ryman North, have been in magnificent form for the majority of the campaign, losing just one league game since the end of August – a 2-1 away defeat to Aveley with 10 men.

“We’ve really dug in and have found our feet so far,” said Batch.

“We’ve had runs in the FA Cup, the FA Trophy and the League Cup and that’s helped us with our league form.”

Sudbury are currently 10th as things stand but have up to three games in hand on their rivals above them and victories in all them could see them climb as high as fifth.

“We’re in a position where we want to be,” said Batch.

“I certainly think it’s been an improvement on last year.

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“I think we were 18th in the league and out of every single cup competition by this stage last year – it’s important to keep improving from year on year.

“However, it’s all very well saying that we have these games in hand but we have to make the most of them.”

Batch’s men face a hectic flurry of fixtures in the next six weeks with the Yellows facing 12 different opponents in this time.

“We’ll see where we are in terms of what we can achieve at the end of January,” said Batch.

“We will take stock from there and see what we can do.

“If we’re still in for a shout of the play-offs come the last 10 games, which I hope we are, then so be it.”

To be in with a realistic chance of merging into the play-off picture, Batch’s men will have to win against the teams around them.

And in that respect, their next four games could shape their season.

After tomorrow’s game against high-flying Thurrock, Sudbury face a derby against Needham Market on Boxing Day followed by fixtures against Maldon & Tiptree and Dereham Town, teams either all in or around the play-off zone.

Sudbury face a Thurrock side in fine form and Batch acknowledged that the game will be a completely different one compared to the opening day fixture where Sudbury triumphed 3-1.

“Things have changed since then,” said Batch.

“We’ve improved and are in far better shape as a team than we were and Saturday is a new game and a new challenge.

“We’ll be giving everything we’ve got and I believe that if we can perform well and keep our concentration then we will give anyone a game – we’ve proved that against higher-league opposition in cup competitions this season.”

As well as Sudbury’s mouth-watering tie, there are also several other high-profile clashes this weekend that will shape the league table before the much-anticipated Boxing Day fixtures.

Harlow Town host Soham Town Rangers in the battle of in-form sides while Heybridge Swifts start life under new manager Jody Brown against Dereham.

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