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Dan Bateman says Sumas have ‘nothing to lose’ against Flackwell

Jake White
Jake White is expected to start at centre-back again (Pic by Graham Tabor)

Dan Bateman says his Wokingham and Emmbrook side have “nothing to lose” when they head to Flackwell Heath tonight.

The Sumas take on the Premier Division outfit in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup, having already dispatched of Abingdon Town and Abingdon United to reach this stage.

But it is a step up in class this evening against a Flackwell side who sit seventh in the table, 18 places above Division One East Sumas in the Hellenic pyramid and on a run of just one defeat in 16 since October.

Manager Dan Bateman

“We beat Abingdon United in the last round and we’ve also beaten Reading City in a different cup this year so we have a good record,” Bateman told The Wokingham Paper.

“We lost to Wantage, but if you look at where Wantage are in the Prem, they’re at the top and they’ll be the ones you’d expect to win it by all accounts.

“It’s going to be a big test for us against Flackwell and I think they’re on a brilliant run of form as well.

“But we go there with nothing to lose.

“We’ve got a bunch of young lads that are very talented and let’s go and see what we can do.”

Tyrone Mings faces no further action for ‘stamp’ on Reading FC’s Nelson Oliveira

Sumas themselves arrive in decent form, only losing once in their past five and having battled past Milton United 1-0 last time out.

Bateman has opted for a tactical switch in recent weeks, using top scorer Jake White in defence and he added to his tally again with a goal from the penalty spot against Milton before helping close out the clean sheet.

“Jake’s done it before for us,” said Bateman.

“Jake plays the sweeper role quite well and we had a bit of injury and unavailability over the last few weeks so he’s had to drop back there.

“He’s got a good understanding with Deano (Charlie Dean) and Marshy (George Marsh) that have been playing and it’s been working.

“He’s been playing really well and he complements what we have at the back when we play that system.

“At the moment I’m not planning on changing it to be honest. It’s looking good.”

Due to recent cold weather and expected rain, a pitch inspection is due at Flackwell Heath at 4pm today.

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