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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Only way is up for Whitehaven after derby debacle

Wounded winger Chris Fleming believes the only way is up for Whitehaven after last week’s derby debacle at Workington Town – starting against visitors Barrow Raiders tomorrow (3pm).

Chris Fleming photo
Chris Fleming

And he warned the way has now been opened for a string of new faces to stake a strong claim for first-team places.

The likes of Martin O’Neill, Shane Ackerley, Martyn Wilson, Matthew Haggerty and Sam Cunningham are expected to make their first competitive appearances of the season in the Northern Rail Cup clash.

And Fleming said: “It’s a big opportunity for them after the way we played at the weekend.

“The ball’s in their hands, and they can show what they can do for the rest of the season. I have good confidence in these lads.”

Fleming will miss out after picking up a shoulder injury at Derwent Park, with Loz Hamzat, who last season proved one of Championship One’s most lethal finishers, given his chance.

“If I was the only winger at the club I could get a bit lazy and feel I could cut a few corners, but that’s not the case,” added Fleming.

“Loz is ready to play. You need to keep your wits about you and put in a good performance every week.”

The Haven squad, coach Don Gailer and chief executive Barry Richardson spoke on Thursday about what went wrong at Workington, and how to ensure there is no repeat.

“We all agreed it was not acceptable, and a bit embarrassing,” said Fleming. “We got bullied around the middle and were more than happy to let them get a roll on.

“We never got on a roll to get on the front foot and create chances. We didn’t stick to the game plan well enough. Everyone was open about what went wrong and what to do to improve it.”

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