Wounded City ‘must win every game to stand a chance of promotion’

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AFTER losing their opening game of the new season, Milton Keynes director of rugby Ray Bray is challenging his side to win all of their remaining 21.

City went down 24-17 away at Olney on the first Saturday of what looks set to be an extremely tough Southern Counties North League season.

That came as a big blow to the men from Emerson Valley, and Bray says there can be no further slip-ups if they are to stand any chance of securing automatic promotion.

He said: “We lost 11 of our own lineouts against Olney and were made to pay for silly mistakes. We can’t do it again if we’re serious about going up.

“It was just like last year when we made mistakes and paid for it later in the season, despite winning our last 10 games the damage had been done.

“We can’t afford to do that again. We need to be far more aggressive than we were on Saturday. We lacked the physicality that was such a big part of our game on that great run in the second half of last season.

“We need the players to believe in themselves and in their own ability. Olney were well drilled, but we will probably face tougher tests against the likes of Buckingham. If we played Olney again in a couple of weeks I think we’d beat them.”

City entertain Reading Abbey this Saturday, already playing catch-up on the league’s big boys, and Bray says only a victory will do.

“We need bonus point wins – that’s what the big teams will be getting week after week, and we need to match them,” he said.

“The league is really tough, and the teams that have come down make it even harder. If we are more aggressive and cut out the silly mistakes then we will get better, hopefully starting on Saturday.”