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Steve Downes1 Mar - 10:17
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We speak to Emley AFC manager Richard Tracey to reflect on recent results and preview up coming games.

Emley AFC remain at the top of the Northern Counties East League Premier division table. The club now has 69 points after 29 games played. However next up for the Pewits is a NCEL League Cup Quarter-Final tie against Bottesford Town.

The game kicks off at 3pm on Saturday at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground. Emley will go up against a Bottesford team who currently sit 17th in the table and who haven't won in three games.

On this upcoming cup match, manager Richard Tracey said: “Firstly I've got to thank Matt Jones at the league and Bottesford for really trying to turn this around quickly.

“It was last Saturday morning when the draw was made and obviously I was conscious that we didn't have a game this Saturday. When I sort of looked through it, Bottesford were one of the teams that also didn't have a game as well. I thought if we couldn't get the game on we’d have to wait until after the Silsden's game to be able to fit it in.

“However with us having three really big games coming up over the next few weeks, I thought if we could turn it around for this Saturday, that’d be perfect.

“Thanks to the league and to Bottesford for turning it around and saying yes, let's get it on and get the officials organised.

“I think it will be a game where it’s really important for us to get some of the players who haven't had as many minutes to be able to get some. It’ll be a good chance for these players to put their name in the frame and earn a spot for the final run in of games.

“We're looking forward to it. It'll be an opportunity for new signings Nathan Fletcher and Isaac Baldwin to get a start. It will be great for Steve Smith to come back and get 90 minutes. So you know there's some real pluses to this game.

“We're trying to use the whole squad really.

“Certainly the intention is for us to go and win the game and we believe that these players that play are more than capable of putting in a performance and getting us that result. In doing that it gives themselves a chance get into the tean for the three huge games that are to follow.”

Following the game against Bottesford, Emley will face Garforth away on Tuesday 5th March. Garforth currently sit 3rd in the table and so Tracey is expecting a tough test from their mid-week opponents.

On Tuesday's game he commented: “They've had a massive resurgence. I think they sort of dropped to 6th or 7th for a period, but they've been excellent recently.

“I think it's only Barton that's had a positive result against them recently.

“We know a bit about them and the good players they have. Charlie Marshall is a new player on the left for them and obviously they brought in Sam Cable who's been around this level for a long time.

“They have a young talented midfielder and a good number ten too. They also have two excellent centre backs who know how to play at this level.

“Their left back has played Conference North football and the goalkeeper has come from higher up the pyramid as well.

“So they're littered with quality. However we know we've got the ability to go cause them problems and having beat them in the cup we know how they like to play.

“I think it's a big game really for both sides. They'll be keen not to lose and obviously for us we'll be looking to win and certainly try and avoid a defeat before going into the Worcester game.

“I think these games suit us a little bit more. I think we're a better side when there's a bit of drive between the games. I think it'd be great if we can turn out some really positive performances in the next three games because if we can win those three games after Bottesford we're in a semi-final and pretty much we'll have a good idea of what it'll take to win the league over the last seven games.

“Obviously, if those results don't go our way, we'll be out of the FA Vase at the quarter-finals and we could have a bit more pressure in the league.”

Finally reflecting on the win over Barton Town 3-1 on Saturday, Tracey said: “I thought we started really well.

“That's probably the best we've started a game for quite some time if I'm honest. We got ourselves into a good position and to be 3-0 up before half time was great. We could have made it more but we never took our chances.

“In the second half you've got to say fair play to Barton because they came out and had a real good go.

“I thought we probably took our foot off the gas a little bit. However in the end we got the three points and at this stage of the season that's the most important thing.”

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