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Oxley urges Tigers not to give up the fight
RICHARD Oxley has called on Sedgley Tigers to ignore their perilous league position and fight to the end.
The experienced hooker says history shows “crazy things” can happen towards the end of the season, from which the Whitefield men must take heart.
Tigers’ 32-6 defeat at second-placed Blaydon on Saturday leaves them in the middle of the three National League One relegation spots, 17 points from safety.
With seven games to go, Oxley admits it is going to be tough to stay up, but insists all is far from lost yet.
“We are in no doubt it is a difficult task,” he said. “But crazy things can happen.
“We’ve benefited from that and been a victim of it in the past.
“Sides go bust or field weakened teams, or get injuries. If we can get some consistency in these last few games the situation can change around a lot.
“It’s a case of sticking together and just keeping our heads up. A couple of wins could change things a lot.”
Sedgley travel to seventh-placed Blackheath on Saturday (kick off 3pm) as they look to spark a turnaround in fortunes. And Oxley believes it would be a huge achievement to retain the club’s place in a division containing much bigger clubs.
“Since we got promoted into this division about eight years ago we have been in the bottom four or five,” he said.
“That’s indicative that we are punching above our weight. There are sides in our league who are paying wage bills close to £1million while we are almost a part-time club.
“But the future is in good hands because we are a relatively young side. We have a core of players who have played a lot in this league and a lot of youngsters who have not got that experience.
“The players aged 30-plus are in the minority now, and the young lads will find out a lot about themselves which will stand them in good stead.
“And the biggest positive is the strength in depth at the club. The second, third and fourth teams are able to step up and support the first team.
“Without that support we would probably have folded.”
Matt Riley kicked two first-half penalties at Blaydon as Tigers went in 17-6 at the interval before the home side added 15 unanswered points.