It’s not about me, we’ve got to do what’s best for Cray Wanderers, says boss Tony Russell

Sunday 17th December 2017

CRAY WANDERERS manager Tony Russell has explained why he will not field his first team squad against Charlton Athletic in the Kent Reliance Senior Cup Quarter-Final on Wednesday night.

The Wands came away from Whyteleafe with a 2-0 win yesterday and have closed the gap on Lewes to just a point.

Lewes are top of the Bostik South with 48 points from 23 games, while Cray Wanderers have a game in hand in second, the last automatic promotion spot.

Cray Wanderers travel to fourth-from-bottom side Molesey next Saturday, host  basement side Shoreham on Boxing Day, Tuesday 26 December (15:00); before welcoming Faversham Town to Hayes Lane on Saturday 30 December, before they make the short trip to sixth-placed Greenwich Borough on Monday 1 January 2018.

But Russell has revealed he is going to make changes against Jason Euell’s side.

“It’s such a shame,” he said.

“I was born and bred in Charlton, I love the club. I was there the first day they went back to The Valley. I used to play football at the old ground when it was a wreck with my brother.

“But we simply can’t put any players out. It’s the timing. We’ve got games two days later and we’ve got games every three days.  I’m just going to put under 23s and then one or two of the first team.

“I’ve seen in the last couple of fixtures they’ve been putting Johnnie Jackson out.  We could get a good hiding on the back of that and it is a risk.

“I would love to have a go at them and put my side out.  I would absolutely love to do that, but I can’t.

“The only one I might do, Ben Mundele, the right-back might play because I know there’s a lot of interest from them so they might have a look at him and I can help him out. 

“Young Freddie Parker will play, Ralique Lawrence, who has been on the bench from the under 23s, we well.

“Marcus Evans, the centre half will come, maybe Vinsey (assistant manager Joe Vines) might even get a game, we’ll wheel the old boy out.

“It’s a little bit too soon for Karl Dent, but he’s virtually back now but it might just be a couple of days too soon to get him involved.

“I’m gutted because I’ll love to have a go at them here on a 3G pitch.  I think we’d have a really good game against them but unfortunately I can’t.

“I’ve got to put my head first rather than my heart.  Unfortunately, we’ve just have to grim and bear it.  You never know, football’s a funny old game but it would’ve been lovely to have put a full-strength side out, especially in a Quarter-Final as well against your home town club.

“I know Jason Euell and Steve Avory, they’ve been very kind to me.  I speak to them. I’d love to show my skills off as well as a manager to them and say this is what I can do but I’m not going to be able to do that unfortunately.

“It’s not about me, we’ve got to do what’s best for Cray Wanderers.”

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Cray Wanderers  v  Charlton Athletic
Kent Reliance Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Wednesday 20th December 2017
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF