Stowmarket Town boss Rick Andrews admits his side haven’t had the start they wanted
Stowmarket Town manager Rick Andrews has admitted that things haven’t panned out as he’d imagined for his side so far this season.
The Suffolk side sit in 10th position in the Thurlow Nunn First Division after an up and down opening three months to the campaign.
After a strong summer of player recruitment, many might have thought that Stow would be hitting the upper reaches of the league table but almost as many defeats (six) as wins (seven) has kept them sitting firmly in mid-table.
“Am I personally happy with where we are in the league at the moment? Not really,” declared Andrews.
“I think we should be higher, we have the potential to be, but we have had an awful run of injuries and suspensions that have held us back.
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“Maybe that’s me being impatient as well.
“From where we were at this stage last season, with just nine points on board (Stowmarket have 24 points before Saturday’s game against Braintree Town Resreves), I think the club are actually quite happy with the way things are going.
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“I spoke to the Saffron Walden manager Jason Maher and he told me that it’s taken them three years to get to where they are (the Bloods currently sit at the top of the First Division). They get good crowds there, and to be fair, we are getting there but are we getting there as quickly as I like? Not really. We have made big steps though and as I said from where we were, the club are happy.”
After a woeful opening two games that saw them lose 2-0 to March Town United and Team Bury, Stowmarket then put an impressive seven-game unbeaten run together that yielded 19 league points.
That run came to an abrupt halt in mid-September though, and ever since then, Stow have struggled, recording only win from their last seven league games, and bowing out of all the cup competitions including the FA Vase, the First Division Knockout Cup, and the Suffolk Senior Cup.
Andrews admits that results haven’t been good enough lately, but has cited injury and suspension as his side’s main downfall.
“Every club is unfortunate with injuries and suspensions, but we really have been hit hard this season,” continued the Stow boss.
“We’ve had Ben Garnham, Sean Rea, Jimmy Attwood, and Wayne Proctor all out for us as well as a couple of centre-halves, but we’re getting back to our strongest team now.”
Indeed, in their last two games Stow have picked themselves back up after a fine 5-1 win over Leiston Reserves and creditable point against Halstead Town.
Following Saturday’s encounter against Braintree, Andrews’ men face five opposition who are higher than Stow in the table in Haverhill Borough, Swaffham Town, March Town, Long Melford, and Debenham LC in consecutive weeks, with the boss admitting that he will know the potential of his side after these games.
“We’ll know where we are after these games,” confirmed Andrews.
“How well we do against them will be a marker of where we’re at, and what we can do this season.”