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AFC Sudbury boss Mark Morsley does not see his side as Bostik League North Division play-off contenders yet

AFC Sudbury manager Mark Morsley has wondered if the 2-0 loss to fifth-placed Aveley in the Bostik League North on Saturday is a blessing in disguise.

The side were convincingly beaten by the team that occupied the final play-off place, just one above them, in the table to remind Morsley’s young guns – and a few overzealous supporters – of where the team are in their ambitions of promotion to Step 3.

Morsley said: “We’re not a play-off team, and this experience was a real eye-opener for the boys in the gap between the play-off sides and the rest.

AFC Sudbury v Royston - Sudbury manager, Mark Morsley..Pic - Richard Marsham. (6367930)
AFC Sudbury v Royston - Sudbury manager, Mark Morsley..Pic - Richard Marsham. (6367930)

“Don’t get me wrong, we have the potential to beat anyone, our style and ability of play makes us as good as anyone, on our day.

“But that’s only part of success, consistency is key. (The loss) was a lesson and a realisation of where we are and maybe it will be a good thing, to shut a few people up about the play-offs.

“I’ve been saying for some time that we aren’t there yet and this result just proves that we’re not good enough.

“It’s great to see everyone excited for us, but I’m a pragmatist and a realist and I know where I am and I know where I have to get to, and today kind of helps us see that.

“As a manager you roll the dice, sometimes it lands in your favour and you’re a legend and other times it doesn’t and you’re not.”

He added that this is the first time the side have been faced with the stark difference between the top few teams and the rest.

“And we’re a little out of our depth,” he said. “I think the top five now will be the top five at the end, they’ve got the experience and the know-how and are starting to separate.

“Then you have a group of clubs underneath who are bobbing and weaving, and we’re in that group. That’s a big step forward from last year, but we’ve still got a lot to learn.”

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