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Clifton believes FA Cup clash with Portsmouth will get Magpies season back on track – whether they win or lose

Adrian Clifton after scoring the winner in the last round against Chippenham. Photo: Mick Vogel

 

Adrian Clifton believes Maidenhead United can use this Saturday’s FA Cup clash against Portsmouth to get their season back on track – whether they win the clash or not.

United have been derailed by six league defeats on the spin, the latest of which a 2-0 loss at bottom-of-the-table Dover Athletic on Saturday.

Again chances weren’t taken – particularly in the first half – while decisions once again went against the Magpies, but Clifton admitted the defeat had dragged the side ‘into the mire’.

But, he believes Saturday’s game against the League 1 leaders – in front of the BT Sport cameras – offers the perfect chance to bring about a transformation in form. He added that the players were buzzing for the tie and would raise their game for the visit of Kenny Jackett’s men.

“The lads are buzzing for it,” said Clifton. “Our league form isn’t the best but we want to use this game to try and bring that back. The occasion speaks for itself really. They’ve won the FA Cup in my lifetime and are top of League 1.

“It’s a massive game and the boys will be up for it. A win would give us the lift we need to get out of trouble, and even if we get beaten we want to use it as a way to get back on track.”

Clifton said he’s struggling to put his finger on what’s gone wrong for Maidenhead in recent weeks, but pointed out that the side were bang in form just a few weeks ago.

They had chances at The Crabble on Saturday, with James Akitunde missing when through on goal in the first half and Clifton himself seeing a second half header well saved, but it seems whatever changes they make, or formation they play, they’re coming up just short at the moment.

 “In some ways I’d put this bad run down to luck,” said Clifton. “We’ve not been getting the rub of the green.

“That happens in football and it could all change if we could get the win on Saturday. It would change the mood in the dressing room and the mood at the club.

“The boys aren’t happy at the moment. They’re working hard in training each week and are trying to put things right. We’re not used to this. We’re more used to being on a winning run, but everyone is still together.

“On Saturday we had some chances and should’ve scored but we didn’t. They were fighting for their lives because they’re rock bottom but they’ve now dragged us into the mire.”

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