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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Judgement day for Workington Reds

Workington Reds have just 90 nerve-shredding minutes to save their season as Darren Edmondson’s men go into tomorrow’s final-day cliffhanger knowing only a win guarantees survival.

Anything less than three points at Worcester City and precariously-placed Workington could be relegated if results involving Hinckley Utd, Harrogate Town, Solihull Moors go against them.

Reds are one of eight teams still fighting to avoid joining Eastwood Town and Blyth Spartans in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

Defiant Edmondson believes he is the man to lead Workington next season, and is confident Workington will get the result needed to stay in the Blue Square Bet North at St George’s Lane.

The out of contract 40-year-old will meet chairman Humphrey Dobie and the board of directors early next week to discuss his future, before calling his squad together for talks.

“I am the man to take Workington forward,” he insisted. “But I’m not thinking about my future; that’s in the hands of the directors now.

“I would love to stay. I have unfinished business at Borough Park.

“Workington deserve to be higher up the league. This year has been a let down, but it’s also been a massive wake-up call.

“If I am kept on, there will be a team meeting and I’ll meet the players individually to talk about what has happened and how we can improve.”

Workington only have to match their rivals’ results to avoid being demoted into tier seven of the football pyramid, and captain David Hewson has vowed to win for the fans.

Branding Reds’ loyal army of away followers as amazing, the popular midfielder, who has been playing with a hamstring injury, said: “If I captained the Workington team that went down it would kill me.

“I am so proud to lead this team. It’s something I have worked hard for during my years here, and I will always fight for this club.

“We will never give up. We can’t. The players care, they really do and it will be a war for those 90 minutes.

“We will do it for the hardcore fans who travel thousands of miles every year.”

Adam Flynn’s recovery from the eye infection that kept him out of the 0-0 draw with Histon last weekend has been a major boost for Workington, who are now seven games unbeaten.

He is likely to go straight into the starting XI alongside Kyle May at the heart of Reds’ defence with Lee Andrews switching to left back and Dan Wordsworth deputising on the right.

Edmondson said he was delighted to have the experienced defender fit again, and admitted suffering sleepless nights trying to protect the final outcome of the craziest of seasons.

He said: “It’s the most incredible league. To have so much riding on the last 90 minutes with so many permutations is just unbelievable, but it’s the situation we are in.

“We’ve gone seven games unbeaten and we’re still in this situation. It’s bizarre, but it’s reality.

“I believe in this squad. I have never stopped believing. There are some quality footballers.

“We cannot afford to rely on others. We are going to Worcester to win, but we must play without fear.

“Against Histon we snatched at shots and misplaced passes.

“Now is the time to keep a cool head and remain composed. We must communicate with each other and then that unwavering team spirit will come through.”

Workington travel down to a base outside Worcester tonight in a bid to prepare properly for tomorrow’s showdown. Dobie has footed the bill and Edmondson branded it a great gesture from the chairman.

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