Long believes Wisbech have the class to avoid London North-East Division Three relegation

16:35 08 March 2013

Former captain Tom Long has backed Wisbech to beat the drop after making a rare appearance in their most important victory of the season.

Work and family commitments mean Long, who stepped down as skipper after leading Wisbech to promotion last season, has been able to play in just five matches this term. But the 33-year-old centre returned to Harecroft Road on Saturday to help his side thump relegation rivals Sudbury 41-5 – a win which moved Wisbech out of the London North-East Division Three relegation zone.

“We’ve got more than enough quality to stay in this league,” said Long. “There’s a lot of young talent and it’s a nice mix of youth and senior players. Saturday’s win puts us in prime position and we need to make sure we stay one step ahead of Sudbury. We’ve played all the teams below us – now it’s about grit, guts and who wants it the most.”

Wisbech suffered a miserable mid-season, with manager Cliff Humphreys deciding to take a break from the club after nine straight league defeats. But back-to-back bonus-point victories over East London and Sudbury have left Wisbech, ninth in the 12-team league, four points clear of the drop with four games remaining.

“It’s difficult when you get a run of losses,” said Long.

“Everybody knew we weren’t getting any luck. We were on the wrong end of some bad decisions and close games just weren’t going our way. The performances have been there it’s just converting them into wins. Hopefully we’ve turned a corner now and it’s about taking as many points from these last four games as possible. We’ve proven that we can turn over the top teams – we’ve done it before. There is nothing to fear. We’ve got the momentum and we need to keep hold of it.”

Long is unavailable for Wisbech’s trip to seventh-placed Beccles tomorrow – but he hopes to play again before the end of the season.

In Greene King Eastern Counties Division One, the league Wisbech are fighting to not be relegated into, mid-table West Norfolk host fourth-placed Crusaders.

Nigel Richardson’s men will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing their last two matches on the bounce which has slowed their fine form in 2013.


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