No split in relegation-threatened AFC Sudbury dressing room, insists goalkeeper

AFC Sudbury goalkeeper, Marcus Garnham makes a save against Harrow Borough earlier in the season

AFC Sudbury goalkeeper, Marcus Garnham makes a save against Harrow Borough earlier in the season - Credit: Archant

AFC Sudbury have played down suggestions of a fragmented dressing room at the Ryman Premier League club, as the relegation-threatened Yellows prepare for their biggest game in recent history tomorrow.

Three points adrift of safety at the bottom of the division, Garnham and his team-mates could not be faced with a tougher clash, at home to league leaders, Bognor Regis.

After the Rocks’ visit to west Suffolk, Sudbury face play-off chasing duo Tonbridge Angels and Needham Market, prior to a final-day encounter at seventh-bottom Canvey Island.

Having stopped the rot last weekend with a 0-0 draw at Worthing, following four successive defeats and 17 goals conceded, Sudbury will hope to build on that and Garnham is convinced every player is on the same page.

“I don’t think there is a divide,” said Garnham.

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“There are a lot of people frustrated with their own performances and with there being so many variables in a team, you only need one or two individuals to struggle and that can affect the whole dynamic of the team.

“Things have not always been rosy this season, you would not expect them to be, and after getting used to winning most weeks last season, I think this season has been a culture shock for some – it’s been tough.

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“That’s just the way it goes though and it’s the same in any walk of life, when people’s jobs are on the line, people are going to voice their opinions and it’s whether you are man enough to accept them.

“In the changing room, you might get the younger boys hanging around with other players their age and the older players gravitating towards other players of a similar age, that’s life.”

A win tomorrow is unlikely to take Sudbury out of the relegation zone – Jamie Godbold’s team are level on points with Kingstonian, who are just outside the bottom-four, but with a far inferior goal difference.

It would, however, give the Ryman North champions a crucial shot in the arm.

“We have got a positive outlook that we can beat anyone on our day,” added Garnham.

“On paper it does not look as if we have a chance but we have to keep going until it’s mathematically impossible.

“I think one win could change everything and are we going to wait until the Canvey game to try and do that and throw in the towel for the others?

“The pressure is on Bognor, Tonbridge and Needham for different reasons, we are fighting for our lives and we have just got to go for it.”

Sudbury were unlucky not to get anything from the corresponding encounter against Bognor, earlier in the season, and Garnham says the team must take heart from that.

“We pushed them all the way,” Garnham recalled.

“We have to take that mentality and try to press them rather than let them get into our half.

“Even if we go a goal down, if we could get back into the game, a point would be better than nothing.”

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