Sykes sets sights on unbeaten festive run
A MAGNIFICENT seven points over the four-game festive fixture programme will make for a happy Christmas for Bishop's Cleeve boss Alex Sykes.
The Villagers hope the weather holds enough to welcome North Leigh to Kayte Lane tomorrow (3pm) for the first of four tricky fixtures.
A Boxing Day trip to Evesham United and the short jaunt to Mangotsfield United three days later come before a county derby with Cinderford Town to bring in the new year.
Targeting an unbeaten record throughout that run, Sykes is hopeful that his side can replicate their opening-day victory over North Leigh with a strong performance tomorrow.
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"That would be the plan as we were excellent there to start the season and another performance like that would be great," Sykes said.
"They're a good side and they're always a goal threat, so we know that we will have to put in a really good performance to beat them."
But Sykes will be forgiven if one eye is already drawn towards the Boxing Day trip to Evesham, especially given that he has lost another player to the Robins this week.
Forward Carl Brown made the short switch north a month ago, and now winger Will Gayton has followed the former Cirencester Town forward in making the move to the Jubilee Stadium.
"I might seek Paul West out after the game up there and have a friendly word about him stealing our players," Sykes said.
"To be fair, I have no problem with Will making the move as he's been really excellent for us but he's an Evesham boy who lives and works there.
"We've also got Saul Williams in on loan from Forest Green and he's a left winger so it's probably a good time for that to happen, if it had to happen at all."
Sykes will also be without loan midfielder Matt Liddiard for tomorrow's game as he's needed by parent club Gloucester City who are struggling with something of a suspension crisis.
However, the Hartpury College midfielder will return in time for the Evesham trip, with Sykes set to replace him tomorrow.
And after showing the squad "how it should be done" during a mid-week futsal training session, former England futsal international Sykes says he is in fine form.
"It's been difficult for us to find somewhere to train as it's been so wet," Sykes said. "So we went to All Saints School to have a futsal session which was really enjoyable."