Grainger admits side have faced a ‘tough time’

DIFFICULT PERIOD: Kevin Grainger said the club were changing tact
DIFFICULT PERIOD: Kevin Grainger said the club were changing tact

Newmarket Town manager Kevin Grainger has said the club had gone through a ‘rough period’ but adamantly refuted any suggestion of financial strife.

The club have confirmed they have also parted ways with Lloyd Groves (St Ives Town) and Charlie Bowen (Godmanchester Rovers), following last week’s departure of Steve Holder and Deakan Napier.

And, alongside a few injuries, the side only had 11 fit players for Tuesday’s Premier Cup clash with Bury Town.

This included player-coach Michael Shinn, who recently joined Grainger’s team as assistant manager. It was his first appearance in a Newmarket shirt.

Grainger said: “We have been through a rough period recently.

“It’s been a tough time — we decided to move some players on, and we also lost a few.

“I didn’t want to lose Bowen but he made his decision.

“It just didn’t work out for us really, the plan we had over the summer, and so decided it was time to change the plan.

“But it’s totally wrong that the players haven’t been paid.

“They’re paid weekly and there’s no issue.

“Look, we’ve lost some of the players we had at the start of the season, it’s the way it goes.

“So it’s tough, but having a player like Lewis (Whitehead) back and fit has already given us a boost.

“It’s tough but I think the changes can bring companionship back into the team, and this will hopefully be the start of better things to come.”

He said he wants to see the spark of ‘better things to come’ at home against Saffron Walden on Saturday (3pm).

Saffron Walden sit one place above Newmarket in the league, separated by just one point.

“It’s a must-win game for us to keep our promotion ambition alive,” he said.

“The two teams had very similar results across the season so far.

“A win would be big for our confidence as well as to get the ball rolling on our season again.

“It would also see us go ahead of them in the league and climb back up the table a bit, so we’re looking forward to it.”