Essex Senior League: Ilford boss Billy Cove expecting tough test at home to Barkingside

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 April 2018

Ilford manager Billy Cove (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Ilford manager Billy Cove (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Landlords Foxes ‘welcome’ tenants Side this weekend

Ilford manager Billy Cove is expecting a tough task against Barkingside on Saturday, despite their tenants still battling to avoid relegation from the Essex Senior League.

The Foxes entertain Side at Cricklefield Stadium this weekend, with the hosts looking for bragging rights in the game between the borough rivals.

While Ilford head into the game in the safety of midtable, Barkingside still find themselves looking over their shoulders.

And Cove believes that will make Michael Walther’s team a difficult proposition, despite the gulf between the sides in the table.

“We are looking forward to the match, it’s always a close game and Barkingside are playing for survival, so I am expecting a very tough game,” said Cove.

“Michael is a good guy, and he’s had the same problems as us this season with players coming and going, and not being able to field the same team week in, week out.

“Kevin Lucas will be in their dugout too, and he is someone I respect highly, so I am sure he will have them ready for battle, we will just need to match them man-for-man on the day.

“They will also have a couple of players in their squad that have recently left us, so it’ll be good to come up against them too.”

The game at home to Barkingside will be Ilford’s final match at Cricklefield Stadium this season, with the Foxes away to Hullbridge Sports next Tuesday, before ending their season at Waltham Forest on April 28.

With Ilford set to play at home for the final time this season on Saturday, Cove is keen for a good display, but knows his side must be in the right frame of mind if they are to do well.

“It would be great if we could sign off with a win, but if we go out with the same attitude as we have recently, we’ll get turned over,” he added.

“I am expecting a positive response from the players, and it would be nice if a few locals came over to watch.”

If there are some new fans among those present at Cricklefield Stadium on Saturday, Cove will hope Ilford produce a display to entice them back.

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