Complacency could well be the biggest threat to Moseley’s ambitions when they take on Manchester at Billesely Common tomorrow.
The Cheshire side have stuck with much the same squad that brought them up to National One by pipping Stourbridge to promotion. Whether it is from a deep sense of loyalty to their players or, more likely, what is said to be the smallest playing budget in the division, the club are struggling. They are bottom with only six points from 13 defeats in 13 games and look a fair old bet to return to National Two next season.
But amid a few thumpings are some surprising results such as losing only 12-6 at home to Cornish Pirates and going down 26-19 when Exeter were the visitors. Last week they lost 57-8 at Nottingham but that followed two narrow home defeats, 19-14 to London Welsh and 15-14 to Otley. Close, but no cigar...yet - and that is where the danger lies.
Moseley coach Ian smith said: “As with all games it is going to be difficult. Each game has its own difficulties. Having seen a little bit of Manchester they are by no means a side that you could easily think they are from their league position.
“They have a lot of strengths and we have to make sure we are totally on the ball for this game. I would suggest that people like Cornish Pirates and Exeter went into their games being a little disrespectful after looking at Manchester’s results and that is what can happen very easily. Each game has its own difficulties. If we are not 100 per cent in our own game Manchester will punish us.”
Moseley are without prop Terry Sigley who is likely to be out for two or three weeks with an horrendous six-inch gash on his leg which has required extensive stitches.
Smith said: “He can’t walk at the moment but we have George Davis and Ben Buxton and Yann Thomas and I would be foolish if I said we were not going to miss certain qualities that Terry brings. But we all know we are going to lose players at certain phases of the season for various reasons and you just have to carry on.”
With half the season almost gone Smith is reasonably happy with his charges so far. He said: “We could do better in terms of the number of points gleaned. We have been very close on a number of occasions and could have catapulted ourselves up the table.
“It would be easy to see it that way on the outside but inside there have been huge improvements in our game management and the fact we are able to put ourselves in the position where we are able to get beaten in the last minute by higher-placed sides. As coaches we have to show a degree of patience because we know how hard the boys are working to be able to put themselves into these positions.
“With a bit of experience and carrying on the management and staying in the game we will push through. We are about where we should be.”