Woodbridge must stop the rot - and fast

MARK Scopes know his Woodbridge Town side must stop the rot – and fast – if their good start to the season is not going to be laid to waste.

The Woodpeckers carried on their fine form from last season, when they finished tenth, with a 5-0 thumping of Newmarket Town and followed that up with a 3-2 win against Wivenhoe Town to proudly sit joint top of the infant Ridgeons League Premier Division.

But they have since gone six matches without a win - three draws and three defeats - culminating in Wednesday night’s crushing 6-1 home defeat to Hadleigh United.

Scopes, whose team tomorrow travel to Kirkley & Pakefield in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase, cut a frustrated figure after some woeful defending saw his side ship six goals against Hadleigh, and is at a loss to explain the downturn in his side’s fortunes.

“We changed our pre-season preparations this year and it worked to start with. We made a great start to the season, but perhaps we have got a little bit complacent.

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“Against Gorleston in the FA Cup we were lucky to get a replay (which Woodbridge subsequently lost 2-1) but we let both Great Yarmouth and Diss, where we had 70 per cent of the game, off the hook.

“Hadleigh got what they deserved and we got what we deserved. I don’t think we have played as bad as that since I have been at the club.

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“It may prove to be a good thing; I have got the biggest squad I have ever had and that causes its own problems.

“We have had injuries, holidays and weddings to contend with – that’s not an excuse, but you keep changing the team. Some players have come back off holidays and not been fully fit.

“However good a football team you are you have still got to work hard, and in that respect my players were really disappointing against Hadleigh.”

Scopes, who will stick to his principles of trying to play attractive football despite his side’s recent run of results, is looking forward to a free midweek next week to get out on the training ground, and a chance to work with his players.

And he revealed that it will give him the opportunity to look at his and the club’s approach to the rest of the season.

“We need to consider where we go from here. I have never walked away from anything, but maybe we need to tweak things.

“If people here are not willing to work hard then something has got to give,” he added.

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