Maccabi need 'a miracle' to retain Morrison, says Delmonte

By James Masters, January 26, 2012

Manchester Maccabi boss Stuart Delmonte believes his team need an ‘absolute miracle’ if they are to reach the quarter-finals of the Peter Morrison Trophy.

The holders face North London Raiders B at Uxbridge on Sunday and are set to be without a whole host of key players for the cup clash.

Inspirational skipper Michael Sacks was rushed to hospital during Sunday’s 3-1 defeat by Windmill Failsworth after suffering a knee injury and has already been ruled out.

Sacks required 20 stitches after being on the wrong end of a reckless challenge, while Sam Vangelder and Ben Tyer are also both likely to miss out.

And Delmonte says his team will start as underdogs against a Raiders B side enjoying a fine debut year in the MSFL Premier Division.

"We need an absolute miracle to get though," he said.

"At this stage, I'm not even sure I’ll be able to raise a full team. We’ve got lots of players missing and a couple who we're sweating over.

"They're about 70-30 against and whereas last year we had resources in depth, we really don't have that this time around.

"We're playing on Astroturf which will really favour the home side and doesn’t really help us.

"But we'll go there and give it a go."

And despite doubting his own side’s chances of Morrison glory, Delmonte is certain the trophy will remain in the north of England.

"For me, South Manchester Sports Club are the big favourites," he added.

"They have been absolutely flying this season and have won every single league game.

"I know a lot of their players. They have great strength throughout the team and I’m certain they’ll win it this year."

Last updated: 11:37am, January 26 2012