March Town boss Ashley Taylor hopes Jack Friend will stay at the club despite interest from Wisbech Town
March Town boss Ashley Taylor hopes star striker Jack Friend will stay at the club despite having entered discussions with Wisbech Town over a potential move.
Friend, who has re-discovered his scoring touch since Taylor took over at The Hares after a tough start to the season, is on the radar of the front man-searching Fenmen.
Taylor expects a decision to be made by the end of this week, and has showered his player with praise.
"We want him to stay, we want him at the club," he told The Citizen.
"He's adored at the football club by myself, the board and the supporters. Everyone wants him to stay.
"We're going to do all we can to keep him. He is fundamental to everything we do, he's so important.
"What he does off the ball, on the ball, the goals he scores, his personality within the group - he's a top lad as well as a top player.
"He's crucial for us, and he enjoys his football here. He feels at home, so hopefully he stays."
Taylor admitted that Friend's March strike partner Craig Gillies has also been approached this season, and hopes he follows his lead in choosing to stay.
Despite the drama behind the scenes, Taylor is still maintaining focus ahead of a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division trip to Hadleigh United this Saturday.
A late Josh Burrows strike seen The Hares beat Whitton United 1-0 on their travels last weekend, meaning they have now won two successive away matches after winning none of their previous attempts.
"We want to keep pushing," he said.
"I said to the lads that we want to try and finish as high as we can. There are 18 games left, there's plenty to play for and plenty of points to be won.
"Every game we go in with that winning mentality. We want winners in that dressing room and I think we've got a group of winners in there.
"When they walk across that line, there's one thing on their mind and that's to win the game of football.
"It's just about going there with confidence, to keep replicating what they've been doing and hoping that the result an come."
The March boss was delighted with their gritty performance against Whitton, where they weren't on top of their game but managed to come away with all three points.
"If that had been when I first joined, we wouldn't have won that game," he said"
"It was good to grind out a win. I was really really pleased with how it went."
March Town vs Whitton United: Brumby, Burrows, Congreve, Emmington, Friend, Frohawk, Garner, Gibson, Gillies, Hilliard, Miller (Subs: Callaghan, Green, Saunders)