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Akram in Wanstead warning

PUBLISHED: 18:00 30 August 2013

Wanstead captain Arfan Akram and John Chambers take a drink during their earlier meeting with Ilford this season (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Wanstead captain Arfan Akram and John Chambers take a drink during their earlier meeting with Ilford this season (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Defending champions ‘must be at their best’ in derby

Arfan Akram says title-chasing Wanstead will have to be at their best at Ilford on Saturday, writes Sam Park.

Wanstead are in third place and need to win their last two games to have a chance of defending their Premier Division title.

And Akram knows a derby against an Ilford side with nothing to play for could be a very dangerous combination.

“If you look at Ilford versus Wanstead scorecards from previous games there are not many one-sided games,” he said.

“They’re often great games played in good spirits and are hard fought so I’m expecting the same and we’re excited.

“We don’t underestimate any team and it is a derby. Ilford are a good side who have probably not performed as best as they can, but they’re safe from relegation now so they won’t be under any pressure and sometimes that can make a team dangerous.

“It’s going to have to be a whole team performance and whoever gets the basics right most often will win.

“That’s what pressure is about and how it separates teams, because when you look at the individual skill level of players and teams in this division, they’re very evenly balanced.”

Wanstead hope to have Kishen Velani back from Essex duty, but Maurice Chambers is likely to be away with Warwickshire.


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