Ghosts target return to top
Fakenham player-manager Wayne Anderson believes his side are on course for a mid-table finish – and a return to the Ridgeons Premier Division within five years.
The Ghosts were relegated to the First Division in 2004 and have finished rock bottom of the table for the past two seasons.
But under Anderson, who was appointed at the start of 2010, Fakenham have shown improvement this season and currently lie 14th in the table, nine points clear of bottom side Cornard United.
The manager said: “It is hard and you can’t build houses in a week.
“But myself, the chairman Geoff Saunders and my assistant manager Neil Jarvis have got a five-year plan and we’re hoping to get the club moving upwards and to get into the Premier Division if things go well.
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“We are sitting just above the bottom three and I think we will end up in mid-table. If we can do that it would be a big achievement for myself and the club.”
Anderson believes the current league position does not tell the whole story of the season so far: “It’s been ups and downs so far and I feel we could be a bit better off in the league in terms of points,” he said.
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“There have been perhaps five or six games where we should have picked up three points but we have only drawn or even ended up losing. Against Bury at home we were 3-1 up at half-time but only drew 3-3, and against Thetford we were 2-1 up but lost 3-2. Against Halstead at home, we should have won that as well. We’ve had chances to finish games off but we just haven’t taken them.
“The league position doesn’t really reflect where we are as a team and the performances have been above average. Unfortunately when we play well, we are a 60-minute team rather than a 90-minute team and that has ended up costing us.
“We’ve travelled to some of the top sides in the division and done well, which shows we are not far away, but there are just a few pieces of the jigsaw missing.”
The Ghosts have, like all teams, been frustrated by the weather in recent weeks, and their match at home to Gorleston on Saturday has been postponed because the Greens have a Norfolk Senior Cup tie to complete against Dereham.
When they do return to action, the Ghosts will have to do without striker Karl Pask, who suffered a broken ankle in the last match, the defeat against Thetford.
He is likely to be out for the season, along with Danny Foulsham, who is due to have a knee operation.
Nicky Bunting has also left the club because of work commitments, although Anderson revealed that he is looking at bringing in reinforcements and has seven-day approaches in for “two or three players”.
The manager added: “We have people on the bench who can come in, but I feel we need to keep moving forward and we need more bodies.
“I’m also looking to see which players we can push through from the reserves into the first team and generally to build the strength of the club.”
The cold conditions have not meant a winter break for Fakenham’s players, as Anderson has tried to ensure that fitness levels are maintained: “I will not hold back because of the weather,” he said. “If it’s bad we’ll run and if we can’t run on the roads we will go indoors and we’ve been using the facilities at Bircham Newton.”