NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: ‘We’re down’ says St Ives Town manager after another disappointing defeat
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke appears to have resigned himself to relegation . . . with 15 games still to go.
Second-bottom Saints remained five points from Southern League Premier Division Central safety after being brushed aside 3-0 by Biggleswade Town at Westwood Road last Saturday.
But Marheineke insists his men must ignore the desperate situation they're in and instead try to enjoy their football again without any pressure.
"We're shot of any sort of confidence, understanding, belief and know-how to win games of football," said Marheineke in the wake of the Saturday defeat. "The lads are literally on the floor in the dressing room.
"It's not worth saying that we're fighting to stay up. We're down and the players now have two options.
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"We can dig in and see how close we can get to the other teams around us or we just get relegated without a fight.
"I'm not looking at the league table or any other results. All I'm concerned about is getting our own house in order.
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"If we have the mentality that we're already down but still trying to get as many points as we can, it takes the pressure of us.
"What's the point of worrying about if Leiston have won? Or what Stratford and Alvechurch have done?
"Let's just focus on ourselves and trying to enjoy our football."
A second-half hat-trick from Biggleswade frontman Jonathan Edwards put Saints to the sword last Saturday.
They had battled well in a goalless opening period, but the hard work was undone within a minute of the restart as a slip by defender Ben Jackson allowed Edwards to break through.
The same player was left unattended to tap in a low cross just after the hour and he put the result beyond doubt when beating Saints keeper Bradley Lashley at his near post with 18 minutes to go.
Edwards also saw a fourth 'goal' ruled out even though it appeared to be over the line when bouncing down off the crossbar.
Defensive recruit Tom Hamblin looked a useful capture in his Saints debut and he was joined in the back-line by fellow new arrival, Beckham Kennelly, who was introduced as a substitute in the second half.
"We did ok in the first half of a game with a distinct lack of quality," added Marheineke.
"We had a bit of steel and defended well, but we're so short of confidence and fragile that you knew we would lose the game after conceding the first goal.
"As so often with us this season, letting in one goal leads to two, and two then leads to three.
"We could pick apart the goals we conceded which were again down to individual errors, but it really isn't worth it.
"We've gone over it so many times, with different players in different situations in different games. We're at a point now where we have to draw a line under it and move on.
"We told the lads to not worry about what has happened in the past, to go and enjoy their weekend and to come back ready to start afresh in the next game."
Saints' home clash against Hednesford tonight (Tuesday) has been postponed. They head to Coalville Town this Saturday, 3pm.