Returning Newmarket Rugby Club head coach Dave Sayer has refused to accept that his side are relegation certainties, writes Liam Apicella.
Sayer has inherited a side that is seven points adrift at the bottom of the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties League Division One with only five matches left to play.
However, having overseen a 15-5 victory against Thurston in his first match at the helm since his reappointment, Sayer is confident he can keep Newmarket afloat.
“Staying up is realistic. I would be failing in my job if I didn’t think that,” he said.
“I’m paid to keep the club in the division they want to be in and that’s what I’m determined to do.
“When I came in, the lads were lacking some leadership and organisation. They were chasing shadows and running around like headless chickens.
“I’ve kept things simple since coming in and that showed in the Thurston game.
“We’re bottom so we know we will be underdogs in every game
“But that is fine. Every game is winnable if we show enough belief.”
Newmarket’s unlikely survival bid continues on Saturday with a home game against sixth-placed Ipswich YM (3pm).
It is an encounter that Sayer cannot attend due to a pre-arranged trip to Egypt, yet he has insisted the players will not be adversely affected by his absence.
“I’ve already laid out the game-plan to the players in the training sessions we’ve had recently,” he said.
“We will keep the same defensive plans as we used against Thurston because I’m a firm believer that defence is the most important part of rugby.
“Some of the players will find they have been moved into different positions, but I trust they will cope with that fine.
“There was no real structure before I arrived and that is not the case now.
“A lot of the players know me well and know that I will demand they work hard. I expect them to show that against Ipswich and in every other game, whether I’m there or not.”
After the clash with Ipswich, Newmarket’s campaign will conclude with clashes against Wisbech (A), Woodbridge (H), Mersea Island (A) and Thetford (H).