20th Feb, 2017

Barnt Green Spartak must avoid getting dragged into bottom five, warns boss GJ Singh

Craig Gibbons 16th Feb, 2017

BOSS GJ Singh has urged his Barnt Green Spartak squad to avoid getting dragged into the bottom five of Midland League Division Two as they bid to salvage some positives from a mediocre campaign.

After starting off so brightly, Spartak’s hopes of a top five finish dwindled with a poor run of mid-season form and they are fast looking over their shoulders as they sit just four points clear of the bottom five.

Despite enjoying a 2-1 victory over Knowle a fortnight ago, Singh’s men were brought back down to Earth rather quickly on Saturday as they suffered a 2-0 reverse at the hands of basement club Continental Star.

That was just the second time this season eighth placed Spartak had lost at home in the league and it was also Star’s first win in Division Two since September last year.

Singh said: “I was not surprised by the result really and it’s been typical of our season.

“We are performing like a Jekyll and Hyde side at the moment but credit where credit is due, Star deserved the points.

“I knew it was going to be tough against them as they have got some proven players in their side now and once they got the first goal they never looked like losing.

“Realistically speaking we are now aiming at seventh or eighth place but we need to avoid being dragged into the bottom five so it doesn’t put a dampener on our season.”

Spartak are not in action this weekend but they welcome Midland League Division One high-fliers Bromsgrove Sporting to the Coppice Ground, home of Highgate United, on Wednesday night (7.45pm) in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup quarter-finals.

And with Sporting going into the game on the back of an FA Vase quarter-final which is set to be witnessed by 3,000 fans, Singh hopes the Rouslers faithful come out in their numbers once again.

“Not only would a good crowd help financially but it gives a feel good factor as players enjoying playing in front of a good crowd,” he added.

“If we could get a few hundred down to the game it would create a brilliant atmosphere.

“I know Bromsgrove are more than likely to make changes for the game but whatever side they put it will be a very good one.

“I’m not discounting our chances because if we perform at our best and they have an off day, we could win.

“Stranger things have happened in football.”