Title within reach - Lowestoft boss

Lowestoft joint boss Micky Chapman refused to concede defeat in their Ridgeons Premier Division title defence ahead of today's Crown Meadow test against Needham Market.

Lowestoft joint boss Micky Chapman refused to concede defeat in their Ridgeons Premier Division title defence ahead of today's Crown Meadow test against Needham Market.

The Blues slumped 3-0 in midweek at title rivals Wroxham, but Chapman insists his men can launch a late push.

"We have to take defeat on the chin and move on," he said. "At the end of the day, the only thing decided on Tuesday was three points to them.

"While it's a game lost for us, which we're disappointed with, we'll move on and look forward. When we've had a bad result this season we've bounced back in the next game and we want to continue that against Needham.


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"We want to get out on the pitch and get a run together so we can start turning games in hand into points. Needham Market are a good side, who are up there on merit. They've a young squad who play good football - but we'll be looking to bounce back.

"The sign of a good side is how you respond in the next game after a defeat - so we're looking for a response. We know we have to be right as individuals so as a collective unit things will also be right."

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Dale and Darren Cockrill return after missing the Trafford Park defeat. Neil Plaskett is also available after being sent off at Wroxham.

"The sending off ruined the game as a contest," said Chapman. "While the boys showed a lot of character, Wroxham are a good side and they exploited the gaps as we pushed on. Having the man sent off was a turning point in the game - but that's football.

"We went into the game confident. Although we started it pretty slowly after not playing for a while, we got ourselves back in despite falling behind to an early goal, but unfortunately a wrong decision went against us."

Depleted Kirkley travel to Felixstowe & Walton without long term injury absentees Rob Horton and Ricci Butler. Nicky Stokeld is suspended and Lee Humphries is unavailable. Justin Chenery is in line for his 100th club appearance.

Diss, who entertain title-chasing Wroxham today, will be managed by former Norwich United boss Paul Franklin until the end of the season.

Franklin spent a few weeks in an advisory role with the Tangerines during Richard Carter's spell as manager, which ended last week when his resignation was accepted by the Tangerines' board.

So he has seen plenty of the squad in action and should be in a position to organise quickly in the search for points to avoid relegation.

Lyn Rolingson, having moved from reserve-team manager to assistant first-team manager a month ago, will continue to work with the first team.

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