Concord Rangers boss Danny Cowley: Fixtures pile-up is bordering on the dangerous (From Basildon Recorder)
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Concord Rangers boss Danny Cowley: Fixtures pile-up is bordering on the dangerous
CONCORD Rangers boss Danny Cowley said it is “bordering on dangerous” that his side have to play twice in 24 hours at the end of a draining Skrill South season.
The Beachboys have had it confirmed ahead of tonight's trip Basingstoke that their rescheduled match with Ebbsfleet will go ahead tomorrow night, meaning Cowley’s men will have ended their season with five games in eight days.
“I have never known a team at this level be asked to play five games in eight days,” Cowley said.
“The boys have had a long, hard season and put a massive amount of effort into it and to ask them to play five times in a week at the end of it is asking an awful lot of them.”
Cowley admits the size of his squad will mean he has no options but to start some players twice against both Basingstoke and Ebbsfleet, and says that is just too much.
“It’s a big, big ask,” he said.
“We will get back to Canvey at about 1.30am tomorrow, the boys will have to get up and go to work, come back and then tomorrow evening get ready again to face Ebbsfleet.
“Some players will have to play twice, that’s the nature of the size of our squad. Other clubs can afford to carry big squads, we can’t.
“It’s bordering on the dangerous to be honest. There are a lot of safeguards in place to protect players and we live in a world today where we talk about mental health and the safety of players and I’m not sure this is fair.
“But it’s what it is and we can only control what we can control.”
The re-scheduling of the Ebbsfleet game came after last week’s clash between the sides was abandoned when the power went out at the Aspect Arena.
Ebbsfleet had appealed against the decision to re-play a game they were leading 2-0, albeit having just been reduced to 10 men, when the lights went out in the 52nd minute last week, but it is expected that the appeal will fail.
The game could prove decisive to the Kent side who are fighting to stay in the play-off spots in the Skrill South.
For Concord, however, the match has become less important after their chances of making the play-offs were ended with defeat at Sutton on Monday.
They travel to face mid-table side Basingstoke Town tonight, looking to avenge a 2-1 defeat at Thames Road earlier in the season.
Despite the energy-sapping schedule, Cowley is determined not to let his side’s terrific debut season in the non-league football’s second tier peter out.
He said: “If we get one more win in our remaining games then we finish in the top 10 and if we get two wins we finish in the top eight and that would be remarkable and that’s what we are thinking about.”
Elsewhere in the non-league tonight, Southend Manor travel to Sawbridgeworth Town in the third round of the Essex Senior League’s Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy.