Marc Abbott happy with where AFC Sudbury side are at after November points haul while James Bradbrook to remain club’s number one
They may have slipped back into the relegation zone after Saturday’s home defeat but AFC Sudbury manager Marc Abbott believes his newly-promoted side are ‘in a really good place’ after a fruitful November.
The Yellows were left to rue wasteful finishing as they dominated but ultimately had nothing to show for it in a 2-1 defeat to Stourbridge on Saturday as they had ended the calendar month with three wins and two losses.
It leaves them third-from-bottom in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central table and three points from safety ahead of travelling to a Kettering Town side this Saturday (3pm) that are one of three teams now hovering a point above the bottom four drop zone.
But Abbott feels his side, with their latest recruits having now bedded in, have turned a corner with their recent performances.
"We're in a really good place, I genuinely believe that,” he said.
"I think we're competing with every team.
"You don't go and beat a team like Coalville (Town) 3-0, Bromsgrove (Sporting) here 2-0 and keep clean sheets against those two if you're not a good side.
"I think for us it's just hitting that consistency weekly.
"We've seen the league and it's a very close league. We're in a good place.
"We've ended up dragging a few teams in and around it and by the way, nine points in November, I know teams around us have got one point, so I'm happy with that."
Despite coming up against another potential relegation rival this weekend, he does not see the outcome of the game holding any special significance.
"Like I said to the boys, like I said about the Long Eaton fixture and today, it's not season defining,” said Abbott.
"We're heading towards the end of November and we've picked up nine points this month.
"If we pick up another nine to 12 points next month we're in a good place.
"We're in and around where we want to be, of course we'd like to be higher and more comfortable but this is the level.
"It's a huge jump up and let's be honest, at the start of July we had no players signed to this club apart from the academy boys.
He added: "We're in a good place. I think we've had some real hard work to do and we're going to suffer, we're going to suffer more, but I also think the group's resilient enough to bounce back.”
Goalkeeper James Bradbrook, who ended up being granted an extended paternity leave from the club with James Philp continuing for a third game last weekend, is set to return to the squad for the trip to Burton Latimer in Norhamptonshire.
And Abbott revealed he has assured him his spot as their first-choice is secure, having brought former Haverhill Rovers stopper Philp in as cover as he looks for a new club following his release from Hashtag United.
Abbott explained: "Bradders' baby had jaundice so couldn't get in Thursday to train so we went with Philpsy because he's in a better condition.
"Bradders is our number one like we've said to everyone, that still stays the same.
"Philpsy has come in and done an unbelievable job for us, he's been exceptional, and to have a keeper of his quality come in to help the team has been fantastic.
"Obviously James returning, again, that'll be great and we've given him our word to be number one which he is, and he's got to continue to keep that shirt.”
Of last weekend’s home loss itself, he said: “I thought we showed spells of what we can do and I also thought we showed bits of our game where we were quite vulnerable today.
“But I think on reflection of the game, how we haven’t won that is crazy really, in terms of the five to six real good chances we had.”
Club secretary steps down
Meanwhile, AFC Sudbury have announced Jules Ankers has decided to step down from her role as club secretary.
She took over from long-serving Dave Webb ahead of the 2021/22 season, managing to do the role remotely after relocating to Lancashire.
The club, who thanked her for all her efforts, having held numerous roles with them, have not yet revealed who will be taking over.