Barkingside ‘still believe’
PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 April 2016
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Side manager says maximum points a must from final five games
Barkingside boss Gursel Gulfer is still confident his team can avoid relegation from the Ryman North despite things looking bleak for the Cricklefield Stadium club.
With just five games remaining, Side are 10 points adrift of safety, having won just six times this season. But Gulfer has urged his team to almost double that tally over the rest of the campaign, starting at Aveley on Saturday.
“We have to win all of our last five games, there are no ifs or buts now and a draw is no longer any good to us,” said Gulfer.
“We’ll concentrate on the Aveley game first and then we’ll go from there. We know our rivals will drop points, though.
“They’ve got hard matches to come against teams pushing near the top, so if they do win all their games I’ll take my hat off to them.
“If we win all five, then I think we will stay up. It’s not impossible for us to do that, we have a good squad.”
Barkingside also finished in the relegation zone last season, before they were handed a reprieve to remain in the division.
Should they finish 22nd for the second season in a row, it could come to their rescue once again and Gulfer is not concerned with what others might say about it.
“Getting a reprieve — it is what it is. This league is a very hard division and as a club that doesn’t pay, we’re always up against it,” he added.
“We’ve done well this season, we’ve never given in and we’re still trying to improve and get out of the situation we’re in.
“I’ve signed 108 players this season, but that’s what happens if you’re starting from scratch. It’s a difficult task, but if we stay up we can move in the right direction.”
As for Aveley, Gulfer hopes Side can take advantage of their stuttering form when they travel to Mill Field this weekend.
The Millers drew 1-1 with Cheshunt over the Easter weekend and have won just three of their last eight league matches.
Side are on a similarly worrying stretch of form, as their 1-1 draw at Thamesmead Town on Good Friday stretched their winless run to three games.
Michael Ademiluyi scored the goal for the visitors less than a minute after they had fallen behind at Bayliss Avenue.
And Gulfer believes a similar level of fight and spirit is required from Barkingside if they are to triumph this weekend.
“The way we’ve played in the last few weeks, we deserve a win. We need to ensure we display a similar level of desire this weekend as we have recently.
“Aveley are not looking like they will make the play-offs, so they will have nothing to play for and hopefully that affects them.
“We have to fight for everything the next few weeks. If we beat Aveley, then we can beat Redbridge the next week and then we’re on a roll.
“We have to do everything we can to win all of our remaining games to at least give us a chance of staying up and remaining in the league again.”
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