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HELLENIC LEAGUE: Derby doesn't excite Highworth boss Fisher
HIGHWORTH boss John Fisher admits he would rather not be facing Wootton Bassett tonight as his early-season enthusiasm does not extend to derbies.
The clash is the standout local fixture in the opening week of the Hellenic League and Fisher knows he will be one of the few people at the Corinium not relishing proceedings.
“Derbies are alright for the players and great for supporters and the clubs involved, but they aren’t much cop for managers,” he said.
“I don’t really enjoy derbies, I’d rather be playing Ascot or someone like that.
“Most people have probably put us as favourites which is nice, but anything can happen.
“If you’re in a manager you’re in a no-win situation. Players can get right into it but managers don’t really.”
Fisher’s opposite number Jeff Roberts flew home from his holiday in Spain especially to oversee his first competitive game in charge, a 4-1 defeat at Bracknell.
And while Fisher admitted he was surprised by Roberts’ decision, he praised the Bassett boss for his enthusiasm.
“The lads couldn’t quite believe it at our level of football, but it’s entirely up to him,” said Fisher.
“To fly back is a bit over the top in my opinion, but if that’s what he wants to do then it’s his prerogative.
“He’s got to be enthusiastic to do what he did, so fair play to him.
“If you’re not keen when you’re younger then you’ve got no chance. I’m getting too old for all that.”
Roberts, who flew back out to Spain after the Bracknell game, is expected to return in time to lead his team this evening.
His assistant Drew Youngsam believes that Bassett’s players must improve hugely on their display at the weekend or risk finding themselves in trouble.
“We want to draw a line under Saturday as we can’t go back and play it again,” said Youngsam.
“Wednesday will be one of those games where it’s blood and thunder. It’s a local derby and the lads need to be up for it because I know Highworth will be.
“We can’t play how we did on Saturday again because Highworth are a very good side.
“They showed they can put the ball in the net on Saturday, whereas we struggled to do that.“
Bassett are missing unavailable duo Steve Yeardley and Craig Kent but Levi Cox is included in the squad.
Highworth welcome back Darren Smart while Scott Lane (hamstring) may win his race against time to be fit.
Rory Sproule has signed on but is suspended and Russell Byrne (chest) will not be back for at least the next two games.
In last night’s Division One West action, Fairford Town stormed to a 3-0 win at home against Hook Norton.
Nathan Gambling gave Fairford the lead before Callum Parsons doubled their advantage.
Dan Drewitt wrapped up a convincing victory with a late strike just before the final whistle.
But it was a miserable night for Purton who conceded four first-half goals before eventually going down 5-0 at Shortwood United.
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