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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley eyes five important fixtures in Bostik Premier

By Steve Tervet

Neil Cugley says Folkestone must make their December fixtures count if they’re serious about qualifying for the play-offs.

Invicta’s next five games are all against sides in the bottom half of Bostik Premier, starting with the visit of Harrow Borough on Saturday.

And with several of the division’s big boys lying in wait at the turn of the year, Cugley insists they must cash in now.

Folkestone manager Neil Cugley Picture Gary Browne

Folkestone manager Neil Cugley Picture: Gary Browne

He said: “We’ve got five important league games because we’ve got a difficult January.

“These five games coming up are going to be important to us to see where we can get in the rest of December because it’s going to be harder to pick up a lot of points in January when we’ve got Billericay, Margate and Dulwich.

“You know draws will be all right in those ones so we need to get some wins in the next five games and hopefully everybody’s raring to go on Saturday.

“We’re in a position we didn’t think we’d be in but once you’re there, you want to stay there and we’re going to do everything we can.

“If fans get behind us in the next five games, we can then work out what we’ll need to finish in the play-offs.”

Folkestone will go into the game full of confidence after beating a young Dover side 6-0 in the Kent Reliance Senior Cup quarter-finals on Monday at Crabble, following a 2-1 loss at  Wingate & Finchley on Saturday.

On Saturday, Invicta welcome a Harrow side who stunned promotion-chasing Met Police 3-0 last weekend.

“That’s how the league is,” Cugley said. “Anybody seems to be able to beat anybody. We beat Enfield 5-1 and they went and beat Dulwich 3-1.

“After winning eight games in a row, teams are going to be pleased to get a result against us and you could sense after the game how happy (Wingate) were.

“We had two or three players that weren’t 100% fit on Saturday. Although they’d spoken to me late in the week to say they might be struggling, they all played and passed themselves fit but I wonder if they were.

“I do leave it up to them unless it’s something we need to put through a fitness test.

“You want people who want to play so I’m not moaning and at Folkestone, a lot of times we’ve had such a small squad we’ve been desperate for players but that might change a little bit.”

Defender Finn O’Mara will be in the squad after rejoining on loan from Gillingham but striker Ian Draycott is still away on honeymoon.

Invicta host rock-bottom Worthing on Tuesday.

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