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League form concerns Rocester boss

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: December 21, 2012

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DAVE Langston admits that the Midland Alliance table is "not nice reading."

Rocester lie 14th in the table and are now just seven points clear of the drop zone following last Saturday's defeat to lowly Studley. The Romans do enjoy games in hand on all their rivals, but that is scant consolation for the Rocester manager.

Langston said: "We finished sixth last season and actually believe this squad is stronger than last year. Our league is over at the minute - we are certainly not going to win it.

"It's (the Midland Alliance table) not nice reading. We've games in hand but I've always said I'd rather have the points."

Rocester had been on a six game unbeaten run in all competitions prior to last weekend. But in the league the Hillsfield outfit have not tasted victory for almost three months - a run of seven games stretching back to the 4-2 win over Causeway on September 22.

Langston reckons Rocester's impressive FA Vase run through to the last 32 has had a negative impact on the side's league campaign. The Romans boss said: "I think it has got into their heads now. Players minds are drifting towards that. We've got to try and get their focus away from that."

Rocester's contrasting fortunes in league and cup moved sharply into focus over the last two weeks. Victory over Long Eaton United in the FA Vase preceded the "embarrassing" 3-2 home defeat against Studley.

"They let themselves down massively on Saturday" said Langston. "They let themselves down, the fans down and the club down. To get down to the last 32 of a national competition and then get a pile of rubbish like that."

The Rocester manager is now demanding an immediate reaction in tomorrow's "grudge" match against Tividale. Leading scorer Edwin Asante-Ahenkorah again misses out through suspension while defender Chris McComisky is also a major doubt through work commitments. However, the in-form Mensah Kinch, who was substituted early on after suffering a blow to the head against Studley is expected to make the starting line-up.

Ugly scenes on the touch-line marred the abandoned fixture between the two sides last season after Tividale's Adam Simkiss suffered a double break to his leg just minutes into the game. Rocester's Jack Langston was cleared of any blame after going in for a 50-50 challenge with Simkiss.

Langston said: "It's a bit of a grudge match after what happened last time and their reaction. But I'm hoping we'll have a few more lads back."

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