Keeping cool is the only way forward for Moneyfields
DAVE CARTER will be laying down the law to his Moneyfields players ahead of their Southern League east division contest against Northwood at Dover Road on Saturday (3pm).
With their red card tally already approaching double-figures before Christmas the manager is insisting they clean up their act.
Suspensions have hit hard in recent weeks and culminated in three successive defeats.
Their latest reverse, a 5-1 defeat at Hartley Wintney, came after Lewis Fennemore was sent off in the opening 10 minutes.
Once again Carter finds himself without a key player as Fennemore starts a four-match ban.
Carter is adamant some players need to take greater responsibility.
He said: ‘We just can’t keep going on like this.
‘Some of our players getting red cards have never had them before now.
‘On occasions the desire to win has overridden everything else.
‘There is a danger the suspensions will derail what has been a successful start to life at this level.
‘The challenge for the players now is to get out of this mentality and cut out the red cards.
‘We have to be prepared for teams coming to try and wind us up and get players booked.
‘No longer can we afford to react and retaliate.’
One player very much in the spotlight is captain Steve Hutchings who has already been sent off three times this season.
At Hartley Wintney Carter was forced to take him off at half-time as a precautionary measure.
He had already been booked and Carter wanted to avoid another red card.
Hutchings is walking a tight-rope and is only two bookings away from a 10-match ban.
‘Steve is our club captain and needs to sort himself out,’ said the Moneys boss.
‘In his position he really needs to knuckle down.
‘He is in the last-chance saloon and has to take responsibility.
‘It is a tragedy because he is such a big and talented player for us.
‘I believe he is a big enough character to do it.’
Moneyfields, who are looking to end a run of two straight home defeats, are still in the top six.
Carter believes this is evidence his team can match the best when he has all his players available.
Earlier in the season Moneyfields were held to a 1-1 draw at Northwood.
On that occasion Carter’s team conceded the equaliser deep into stoppage-time at the end of the game.
‘We feel we owe them one for that,’ added the manager.
‘The most important thing is that we get back to winning ways.’
Dan Wooden remains a big doubt due to his hamstring problem.
Hawks loanee Marley Ridge is also suffering with an ankle injury as is Conor Bailey.
James Ford returns to the squad after illness.
Moneyfields: Mowthorpe, Giddings, Martin, Pearce, De Costa, Poate, Ford, Bailey, Paxton, Raine, Briggs, Hutchings, Pennery, Austin, Smith