Wilkins wins manager-of-the-month – now hopes the ‘curse’ won’t haunt his Needham team

Needham boss Richard Wilkins, February manager-of-the-month in Bostik Premier. Photo: BEN POOLEY

Needham boss Richard Wilkins, February manager-of-the-month in Bostik Premier. Photo: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Needham Market manager Richard Wilkins is hoping the manager-of-the-month ‘curse’ doesn’t strike his club.

The Marketmen have put a nine-point gap between themselves and basement club Burgess Hill with a fine run of recent form - only the bottom team is relegated in the division - Burgess are the visitors to Bloomfields tomorrow night (7.45pm).

And with Merstham also visiting Suffolk on Saturday, any relegation fears Wilkins, who was honoured with the Bostik Premier manager-of-the-month award today, and his side may still have, will surely be eradicated should they pick up six points.

“Well, it’s the first time I have won the manger-of-the-month award in this league,” Wilkins said.

“At Bury I remember going through one month unbeaten, but another team did the same but played more games. There were many times I was close, so it’s nice to pick up one now.

“I just hope the team can pick up where we left off.

“We were one team who certainly didn’t need a break, we were on good form. There is no reason we can’t pick that back up, but 10 days without a game, at this level, is not good.

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“As our training pitch is being turned into a 4G and other places unavailable, we haven’t trained at all.”

Burgess Hill arrive in Suffolk in opposite form to that of Needham, having won just one of their last seven Bostik Premier games. There is an 11am pitch inspection at Bloomfields tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, Leiston entertain Margate at Victory Road tomorrow.

Glenn Driver’s side have won their last two Bostik Premier encounters and, rightly, have hopes of a play-off place.

Margate are currently second in the division, but Dulwich Hamlet are breathing down their necks, while leaders Billericay are suffering a mini crisis – having lost their last three league games.

Certainly with plenty of teams around them still to play, Leiston’s season is very much in their own hands. This afternoon they signed Lowestoft striker Jake Reed.

Indeed Lowestoft will be hoping their fans get behind them as they tackle Hendon tomorrow evening.

The Trawlerboys are in financial trouble and released a statement last night to that effect.

On the pitch they are in difficulties too and have been dropping down the table alarmingly, to their current fourth-bottom position.

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