Leicester Nirvana vs Newport Pagnell Town
They don’t get much bigger than this, first vs second as Leicester Nirvana host Newport Pagnell Town at Hamilton Park. The 2 sides separated only by goal difference, with second place Newport Pagnell having a game in hand, the stakes don’t get much bigger. We spoke to both managers during the week to get their thoughts ahead of such a vital fixture, here’s what Leicester Nirvana boss Nick Anderson had to say.
UCL: Big game against Newport Pagnell this weekend, how are the squad going into it on recent form?
Nick Anderson: Pretty confident, recently we’ve had some good performances but not the results, we did expect a dip in form, we’ve got 2 players suspended and 3 still injured, the injured ones will hopefully be fit for this weekend, but we’re missing our top scorer Jordan Nelson from suspension, but we’ve got a strong team and the squad is feeling confident.
UCL: You had a big game against Deeping Rangers last weekend, do you think that big match experience will help the players in a game like the one this weekend?
Nick Anderson: I would have accepted a point before the game, they’ve got a 100% record at home, they’re a well organised side, but after the game we felt we could have won, we spoke about the fear factor in the dressing room after the game. I think we’ve proven ourselves now that we’re here to stay, I believe we will be in the promotion hunt for the rest of the season.
UCL: Approaching the half way point of the season top of the league, are the club preparing for the prospect of promotion?
Nick Anderson: I believe we are, we’re ready for it the following season, the club are putting money behind it ready for next season, so they’ve been great.
UCL: What do you expect from Newport Pagnell this weekend and what do you believe it will take to beat them?
Nick Anderson: I watched them at Eynesbury, they play a 4-4-2, they’ve got 2 good strikers, hard working midfield with a solid defence. We’ve got a lot of pace in our side, so I think we’ll have to utilise that and exploit their lack of pace.
UCL: Newport Pagnell Town currently 2nd place, level on points with you with a game in hand, how crucial do you believe this game will be come the end of the season?
Nick Anderson: Well look at this week’s midweek results, Harborough lost 4-0 at home to Wellingborough Town having beat Newport Pagnell Town 1-0 away the previous week, anyone can beat anyone, and its good for the league. It’s 3 points at the end of the day, but its still a big game, I think every game is a cup final now, especially in a league where anyone can beat anyone.
We also spoke to Newport Pagnell Town manager Darren Lynch ahead of this weekend’s top of the table clash, here’s what he had to say.
UCL: Big game against Leicester Nirvana this weekend, how are the squad going into it on recent form?
Darren Lynch: Confident, to be fair we’re on the same points and its only goal difference separating us, we have nothing to be afraid off.
UCL: You have quite a few tricky fixtures around the Christmas period, such as Deeping, Eynesbury and Holbeach to name a few, how important do you feel it is to pick up as many points as possible when the fixtures are coming thick and fast?
Darren Lynch: Its vital. If we have aspirations to win the league we have to beat the teams around us. All those 3 games are at home, so we’ll be looking to take maximum points from them.
UCL: Approaching the half way point of the season2nd on goal difference, are the club preparing for the prospect of promotion?
Darren Lynch: Yes, the club has backed me really well, can’t complain. We’re definitely prepared for promotion.
UCL: What do you expect from Leicester Nirvana this weekend and what do you believe it will take to beat them?
Darren Lynch: I’m expecting a good fast footballing side, they’re good on the counter. On our day we’re capable of beating anyone, we showed that in our FA Vase run. We’ve added quality and experience to the squad which has made a big difference.
UCL: Leicester Nirvana currently 1st place, level on points with you with an extra game played, how crucial do you believe this game will be come the end of the season?
Darren Lynch: I think the picture ill be clearer after Christmas, we’ve got to take 1 game at a time. Hopefully Saturday can be another stepping stone to us getting promoted.
For anyone interested in attending this fixture, below are the details of the fixture.
Hamilton Park, Sandhills Avenue, Leicester, LE5 1LU