Testing times for Stowmarket ahead of Suffolk Senior Cup tie

STOWMARKET Town manager Shane Austin admits tomorrow’s LB Group Suffolk Senior Cup home clash against Team Bury could not have come at a worse time.

Stowmarket are second-bottom in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division after losing seven on the bounce after exiting the FA Vase and league knockout cup last month.

And after losing three captains, witnessing a host of reserve players walk out of the club and winning just one league game all season, Austin concedes optimism is running low – but commended some of his players’ loyalty.

“It’s a testing time for the club at the moment,” he said. “This cup game couldn’t have come at a worse time really.

“The injuries are just getting ridiculous and now our goalkeeper is out for six weeks.

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“We have lost lots of players to long-term injuries and they are causing a lot of disruption.

“It is a bit of a struggle at the moment. We will do well to get 14 players for the match on Saturday but I’m confident of fielding 11 players.

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“Our reserve team manager Glen Parker had to resign last week and most of the reserve players left. It is a bit of a mess.

“But my players are well up for the game on Saturday. The ones that have hung around and not given up and left are good lads.

“Obviously our results have not gone well this season so it’s important that we get a good cup run going to try to instil come confidence.

“But it is hard to build up the confidence when the team keeps changing every week.”

Stowmarket have already lost 2-0 to Team Bury at Greens Meadow in the league this season, but Austin insists that will not affect tomorrow’s result – and believes his players would rather be playing away from home at the moment.

“I don’t think they will have a psychological advantage because we will have a completely different side to the one that lost – like we do most weeks,” he added.

“But it’s the Senior Cup and everyone wants to play at Portman Road which is an incentive.

“I think a few will be there on Saturday supporting us because it is a local derby against Bury.

“But I think my players would rather be playing away from home to be brutally honest.

“I don’t know why but we tend to play better away from home. I’m not sure of the reasons why.”

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