OUT: Mitch Griffiths (on the ball) is suspended. Photo by JAKE WHITELEY

Hayes adamant that success with Holbeach United will be defined by trophies

Boss Seb Hayes insists that Holbeach United’s season will only be a success if they manage to win some silverware.

The third-placed Tigers are now many people’s favourites to win the ChromaSport UCL Premier Division after a productive festive period (see page 38) and have already booked a place in the final of the Lincs FA Senior Trophy.

They also have a chance to secure a second cup final place on Tuesday night when they visit fellow Premier Division high-fliers Yaxley in the UCL Knockout Cup semi-final (7.45pm).

Before then, there’s the small matter of a home league game against 19th-placed St Andrews at Carter’s Park on Saturday (3pm).

Hayes is adamant that his priority remains the cup clash with the Cuckoos, but he’s not taking anything for granted against struggling St Andrews.

“Tuesday is the bigger game of the two,” admitted Hayes. “It’s a cup semi-final – and the cups are still our priority.

“Myself and the management team are desperate to bring success to Holbeach United. And, for me, success is measured by winning a trophy.

“It’s not good enough for us just to improve on last season and finish a place or two higher in the league.

“I’ve said we’re now in the title race and I believe that. But we’re one win away from another cup final, meaning we’re three wins away from winning two trophies.

“That has to be our aim, first and foremost. It won’t be easy, though. Yaxley have been in great form recently and have played themselves into the title picture too. It’s a huge game that can go either way, but we’re confident in our ability to get the right result.

“As for St Andrews, they have made improvements recently and it won’t be easy.

“We need to stay focused and keep on winning. There’s quite a few teams in the title race now and we’ve got a big run of games in January to come. We can’t afford any silly slip-ups.”

One problem Hayes is facing is player availability, with a spree of red cards over the festive period meaning Holbeach have something of a selection crisis on the horizon.

Mitch Griffiths and Stacy Cartwright will miss the next three games, while Charley Sanders still has one game of his four-match ban to serve.

Throw in Matt Warfield’s injury and the possibility that Lincoln United loanee Danny Brooks may have to return to his parent club and Hayes admits that his options will be limited.

“We’ve been used to dealing with red cards and injuries,” added the Tigers boss. “So far, we’ve mostly got away with it.

“But we can’t keep getting stupid red cards. Five or six teams will feel they are in the title race, so it’s likely that we’ll be punished whenever we slip-up.”

Follow @Andrew_Clucas on Twitter for live updates from both games.

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