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Haverhill Rovers interim manager says Saturday's home game with Walsham-le-Willows is 'must-not lose'

Peter Betts admits this weekend’s game at home to Walsham-le-Willows is ‘must-not lose’ for his Haverhill Rovers side.

Rovers are six points adrift at the bottom of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table, following defeats to Mulbarton Wanderers (2-0) at home on Saturday, and Hadleigh United (7-0) on the road on Tuesday.

Ahead of hosting 16th-placed Walsham at The New Croft on Saturday (3pm), in a clash which pits the current bottom two sides in the six-game Premier Division form table, Haverhill’s interim boss is under no illusions as to the importance of this weekend’s game.

Haverhill Rovers are still in search of their first win in this season’s Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Picture: Mark Westley
Haverhill Rovers are still in search of their first win in this season’s Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Picture: Mark Westley

“It’s a huge task for us, because these injuries we’ve got are not going to clear up quickly,” Betts said.

“Saturday’s a big game. It’s a must-not lose on Saturday. We must reconnect with the teams above us.

“We’re under pressure, we know that and we can’t hide from that.

“Everyone has got to stand up and be counted. We’re at home and we’ve got the supporters behind us.

“We’ve got to perform on Saturday and we must make sure we don’t lose.

“We’re really depleted (with injuries), so we’re just going to have to make the best of a bad situation and be as organised as we can.”

With as many as six players out on the sidelines through injury, interim boss Betts has turned to the club’s under-18s to fill the gaps in his squad.

Zane Hamilton-Campbell, Joe Turkington and Archie Silvain all came off the bench during Tuesday’s defeat at Hadleigh, while Raul Bisong and Andrew Conroy, two new recruits from neighbours Haverhill Borough, have also featured in the last two games.

“We’ve had young lads from the under-18s that have stepped up in the last couple of games,” Betts said.

“Ultimately if I’m being honest, we’re papering over the cracks with the volume of players that we’ve got at the club, everything is a domino effect. You look at the situation from July to today, we’ve just had one problem and challenge after another.

“The results have suffered as a result of that. I think it’s important, people don’t see it from the outside, but from a football club perspective they’ve given the manager and the team the means to be competitive.

“I don’t like talking about budgets, but we’ve got a competitive mid-table budget. The football club are doing what they’re meant to do, but at the moment it’s on the football front where we’re short.”

Haverhill Rovers Under-18s return to Thurlow Nunn Youth League Cambridge Division action with a trip to Histon Under-18s tonight (7.45pm).

Last week’s home clash with Bury Town Under-18s was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.