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Cowell hopes Maidenhead aren't too ring-rusty on their return against Southgate

Maidenhead captain Phil Cowell hopes the side isn’t too ring-rusty when they return to action following lockdown against Southgate 2nds on Saturday.

Maids haven’t played for more than four weeks due to tightened coronavirus restrictions and they’ll be looking to check a run of three successive defeats in the league.

They were thumped 6-1 by Woking in their last match on October 31, a result which saw them drop to eighth in MBBO Premier Division 2 West.

Cowell has missed the past few Maidenhead matches due to injury, but the recent break has given him – and several other players – the chance to shake off their knocks.

The squad will have only one training session ahead of Saturday’s game, but Cowell is confident the players will have kept themselves in good condition.

“The team did some fitness challenges over lockdown, so fingers crossed that’s kept everyone in a relatively good shape,” he said.

“I’ve been having quite a lot of physio to help me recover [from injury]. I’ve been out running and I’m going to train with the team tonight (Wednesday). I intend on playing this weekend, I will just have to see how I cope at training.

“Hopefully we can get a lot of limbs moving, do some ball drills, and work to get everyone’s touch back.

“We have minimal time to prepare but it’s going to be good to get back out there.”

Cowell believes this period before Christmas could be critical to Maids’ hopes this season: “Our next few games could prove crucial.

“We went from the top of the league after three games to eighth after the next three.

“The break came at the right time really. We had guys with hamstring problems who are back running and recovered now.

“Hopefully we will train well tonight, and everyone gets their touch back as quick as possible in time for Saturday.”

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