AFC Sudbury’s assistant manager has urged his young side to beat Bury Town on the first day of the new year, to repay the fans for their loyalty this season.
Lee Norfolk is aware that the patience of the Yellows’ fans has been tested at times this season, with a lot of changes to contend with at the club.
It has been a difficult month of results, with Boxing Day’s 1-0 away victory over Mildenhall the side’s only three-pointer in December.
They have one more opportunity to take points in 2017, with an away trip to Aveley on Saturday (3pm), before hosting Bury Town on Monday, January 1 (3pm).
Norfolk said: “It’s hard to get the boys motivated for the less obviously important games, that’s a problem with a young team.
“When we go to the bigger sides, the side as a whole is motivated. They have to be or you can find yourself in big trouble.
“But it does mean they will be up for the Bury game.
“We have them at home, so hopefully the crowd will be there — a good turnout would be great. The crowd getting behind us would really help.
“And hopefully we can then pay them back with something to celebrate the new year with.”
He admitted it had been a tough part of the season and the club were utilising a game-by-game approach to avoid any run of fixtures, or results, becoming daunting.
He added: “There’s no long-term plan this season, it’s just about getting something from each game, and that’s the same with Bury Town.
“We’ve got boys that are still learning the trade and that’s why we’re not putting too much pressure on them too soon. Each game is giving them a different challenge.
“We tend to do okay with the sides that are higher up the league, perhaps we struggle a little bit with teams that are mid-table more.
“We have to take each game as it comes. But, especially the teams around us, we need to be winning.
“Aveley is one of those games — just like the game against Mildenhall was. And then Bury Town, who are higher, on Monday.
“We’re a young side in transition — there’s been quite a few changes — but we’ve just got to get some sort of solidity and be settled and we can build from there.”
Ollie Dunlop, who switched to rivals Bury at the start of December, will be unable to face his former club as he has been ruled out with a serious knee injury.