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SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Webb expects close race for play-offs
MANAGER Dave Webb knows it will be ‘a tough ask’ to surpass the 81 points Swindon Supermarine amassed last season, but believes the required total to make the play-offs will be lower this time round.
Marine finished fourth in Southern League Division One South & West in 2012/13, enough to make the play-offs, but having lost momentum in November this term, they face an uphill task to reach those heights again.
However, Webb is consoling himself with the thought that in what he perceives as a more competitive division, less points will be required to reach his top-five target and therefore a shot at promotion.
“I was looking at the final table from last year and we lost 11, drew six and won the rest to get 81 points,” said Webb.
“We’ve already lost five and drawn five having played 20 games so we can only afford to lose six of the next 22 games, which sounds a tough ask.
“Having said that, I think it might not take quite so many points to get into the top five this season.
“I think it will be a lot more competitive this year with a lot more sides fighting it out, right down to the top 10 or 12 sides.
“We haven’t been at our best and if we can get another defender in to complete the squad then I’m confident we can get that top-five spot.
“We know we’re not going to win every game but we’ve got to try and take something positive from every one of them.”
Supermarine are due to travel to Clevedon tomorrow but the fixture could be in danger of being postponed due to the weather.
Webb is concerned that the game could be called off in the latest of a string of postponements around the Christmas and new year period.
“We’ve already had an email from them saying the ground is very wet,” he said.
“I don’t know what the weather’s going to be like over the next 24 hours but if it stays dry then we’ve got a chance.
“But if we get much more rain then that’s going to put it in doubt.”
Webb expects Dave Bampton and Craig Curtis to recover from knocks and the defensive duo were set to be assessed at training last night.
Elsewhere, Marine will not be re-signing former defender Tom Cole following a long-term injury as the centre-back has relocated Having suffered a serious Achilles problem in March, Cole is now weeks away from returning but having relocated to the London area for work reasons, will not ply his trade in South Marston.
Meanwhile, Marine’s derby at league leaders Cirencester on has been rearranged for Tuesday, January 28. The match was originally scheduled to take place on Boxing Day.
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