Martin frustrated by ‘longest ban ever’
10:00 10 January 2014
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Romford boss relishing return from suspension
Romford boss Paul Martin cannot wait to get back on the touchline after a string of postponements have drawn out his five-match stadium ban.
Boro’s home clash with Ryman Division One North leaders VCD Athletic at Ship Lane tomorrow (Saturday) is due to be the final game of Martin’s ban, but his side have not played since their 4-0 win at Waltham Forest on December 14.
The FA handed down the stadium ban on manager Martin for an incident in a match earlier this season against Cheshunt.
“It’s been the longest ban ever,” said Martin.
“It’s been a bit frustrating, but hopefully we can get the game on and I can get back on the touchline.
“Lordy (assistant manager Mark Lord) will be on the touchline against VCD and he will let me know how we get on.”
Martin is not sure what to expect of his players, given their extended break over the festive period.
And the fact Romford do not have access to any all-weather training facilities means the amount of ball work they have been able to do in recent weeks has been limited.
They are currently lying in 17th place in the table, but with games in hand on those teams around them.
The players have been out running, but Martin says there is no substitute for match fitness.
He added: “It will be like the first game of the season given how long they have had off, but we don’t know how much VCD have been training either.
“We were on a good little run in December and VCD have had a bit of a blip recently, so you never know.
“But I’ll prep the team as I always do and we’ll be going out there for three points.”
Martin has added Jamie Dicks to his squad after the midfielder’s return from travelling in Australia. Dicks’ last game was the 2-1 home defeat against Dereham on November 2.
Martin also confirmed that, as far as he is aware, the rent at Ship Lane has been covered and the club will be staying as tenants for the rest of the season.