AFC Sudbury - Howe ‘devastated’ by sloppy defending while Tracey questions desire

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Goalkeeper Fred Howe has called on AFC Sudbury to pull together in order to ensure their play-off hopes do not go up in smoke on Saturday.

The former Peterborough United youth team stopper is bemoaning being in the form of his life at a time when poor defending is seeing him having to shoulder an arduous task.

He admits his confidence is being hit by an avalanche of goals against Bury Town (10) followed by another 10 over a disastrous three-day period from Saturday (6-3 at home to Romford and 4-1 at Aveley Monday).

But the 20-year-old, who also had a spell with Ipswich Town, believes a winning run, starting at Heybridge Swifts on Saturday (3pm) and continuing when Thamesmead Town visit Tuesday (7.45pm), can see them claw back the nine points currently separating them from 17th to the top five.

“It is still a definite possibility,” Howe said of the play-offs.

“The league is so close from mid-table to the play-offs and it can still happen, but we need to put together a run.

“We cannot afford to lose another one on the bounce and it is another one where we have got to pull together.”

The Boxford resident was happy with how his side had improved from Saturday’s defensive shambles in the opening 79 minutes at Thurrock on Monday, until they fell apart by conceding three more times.

“I am devastated really,” he said. “I am making some of the best saves I have ever made but silly things are letting them in.

“Defending as a unit is an issue.

“In a lot of games players are having an awful lot of space and it is so frustrating.”

The 20-year-old University Campus Suffolk business student has taken the plaudits since stepping up from the reserves to fill the void left by Danny Gay’s departure six games ago, but would swap it all for a solid 1-0 win on Saturday.

Meanwhile, AFC Sudbury manager Chris Tracey questioned the desire of his players in the wake of Saturday’s 6-3 defensive horror show at home to Romford on Saturday.

Tracey, who was not available for comment following Monday’s 4-1 defeat, said: “The manager normally takes the brunt but there is a lot of people in that dressing room that really need to look at themselves.

“I moved some people on earlier in the season, kept the people I trusted who I thought would help us progress and they need to look at themselves long and hard.

“It certainly wasn’t good enough. They just need that desire to make sure the ball doesn’t go in the back of your net and on Saturday we were sorely lacking in that department and I am massively disappointed.

“It was the worst defensive display for this level of football I think I have ever seen Sudbury put on as a collective.”