Ilford boss Cove wants his side to bounce back against Sporting Bengal

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 January 2018

Ilford joint-managers Billy Cove and Allan Fenn (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Ilford joint-managers Billy Cove and Allan Fenn (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Ilford will be looking to bounce back as they travel to local rivals Sporting Bengal United this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.

The Foxes make the trip to the Mile End Stadium on Saturday (3pm) as they look to end their miserable festive period results.

Billy Cove and Allan Fenn’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat to league leaders Redbridge to cap off 2017 and began 2018 with a 2-0 home defeat to second-place FC Romania.

Joint-boss Cove is now piling the pressure on his men and admits they will not accept anything other than three points on Saturday.

“I am expecting nothing less than three points,” he said.

“That’s no disrespect to Sporting Bengal, we just need to start beating the teams around us.

“They’re in need of a win too, so I’m sure it will be a very exciting game.”

The former East Thurrock striker revealed he doesn’t know too much about their opponents but he admires the way they run the club, adding: “I haven’t seen too much of them, but they are only five points behind us, although we have a few games in hand.

“I hear they are quite lively going forward, but not as lively at the back, so we will try to capitalise on that.

“I admire them as a club and it’s great what they are doing for their community.”

The Foxes are expected to make 
a handful of changes to the 
starting line-up after a poor performance against FC Romania last weekend.

“After the performance on Saturday, we will be making a lot of changes,” added Cove.

“I didn’t accept performances like that when I played, and I won’t accept them as a manager.

“The players need to be held accountable, and start performing the way we know they can.”

Two players who will miss out on the match are utility man Karolis Atutis and defender Jonah Gregory due to injury.

“Karolis and Jonah are our only injury concerns, but we have a couple of new signings lined up that should be done in time for them to make their debuts,” said Cove.

Ilford are set to return to Cricklefield Stadium to play host to West Essex on Wednesday evening (7.45pm).

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