Ryman Premier: Needham boss Morsley issues rallying call as Brothers makes a return

Michael Brothers is back for Needham this weekend

Michael Brothers is back for Needham this weekend - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Mark Morsley knew Step 3 football would be a tall order for Needham Market.

Mark Morsley knew Step 3 football would be a tall order for Needham Market.

Still yet to win a competitive game this season – following a painful 3-0 midweek defeat to lower-league Stanway Rovers in the FA Cup – Needham entertain Harrow Borough today (kick-off 3pm) in league action.

Having achieved 100-plus points and scored 100-plus goals en route to promotion into the Ryman Premier, optimism was high at Bloomfields before a ball was kicked.

But, following a difficult start that has seen Needham plunder just four points from a possible 27, that optimism has been more than grounded – something Morsley half-expected.

“A very successful and impressive pre-season had expectation levels off the chart,” said the boss, who has added familiar frontrunner Michael Brothers to his squad for today.

“There was no preseason that would have fully prepared us for what Step 3 football has to offer. I knew, I have been here before.

Most Read

“This is a level that is really tough and a million miles away from Division One North.

“It is where many players choose to ply their trade when they are more than capable of playing National League football or higher.”

Morsley accepts that the Marketmen’s last two defeats – a 6-0 thumping at Wingate & Finchley, followed by the stunning upset at Stanway – have been the worst, with confidence levels extremely fragile.

“So far this season we have not done well enough,” he continued.

“We have made mistakes that have been punished. Our offensive play has lacked imagination and direction, we have not yet really gone into battle for the cause.

“It would be easy to find an excuse but that’s not my style. I signed these players I believed in, and in many cases I still believe in them, but we are getting very close to having to wave goodbye to some of them.”

Morsley previously led Leiston to this level of football in 2012, and he has drawn similarities with the way things have started, determined to overcome the hurdles in front of him.

“I am more motivated than I have been for a long time,” he added.

“In fact, not since I was Leiston manager – when it took 17 games to get out of the relegation zone – have I felt the same way. I believe that experience will stand me in good stead for the challenge that lies ahead.

“There was also one other thing that helped me and my staff at that time and that was the total and complete level of support from the chairman, vice chairman, committee and supporters.

“We all stuck together and saw the tough times out, and you would have to say that based on where Leiston are now, that they were right.

“At Needham, the support I have from the senior officials is total and should be applauded, but there are sections of shall we say ‘the support base’ who are too quick to pick faults.

“Losing at Stanway in the way we did means we have hit rock bottom so we start again. The first challenge is to get a clean sheet, once we achieve that on a regular basis, we have a foundation to build on but it needs everyone pulling in the same direction – never underestimate the importance that the 12th man gives a team!”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter