WIVENHOE Town manager Gary Monti still feels the Dragons can secure a top-four finish in Thurlow Nunn League division one south despite a lengthy injury list that has hampered the early part of their campaign.

The Dragons have an Essex Senior Cup third round tie at BetVictor Isthmian League division north high-fliers Maldon & Tiptree tonight, but Monti's side are on a two-week break from league action and will return to division one south duties when they head to Newbury Forest on Saturday.

It has been an up and down campaign so far for Wivenhoe, with the injuries they have had preventing them finding much in the way of consistency.

However, they are still tenth with a quarter of the campaign gone - four points off the top four - and Monti is confident that his team can push up into the promotion race if they can stay in contention while they wait for players to come back to fitness.

“I still think it’s achievable and I don’t think I’ve seen anything that I’m scared of," he said.

“I don’t think we’ve been outplayed by anyone.

“What has happened is that we’ve lost to silly goals and individual errors; not poor teamwork, it’s really been down to individual errors that we’ve been punished for.

“However, if we can stay in the top six to eight places until Christmas and then get all our players back, I think we can push on from there.

“It will be like having a load of new signings when they come back.

“That will give us a little kick forward.

“Because we’ve had so many games and it’s been Saturday-Tuesday every week, we haven’t had much time to train.

“We’ve just been playing games and I think our shape has looked a bit shabby at times because we haven’t been able to work on it.

“It's nice to have a break (from the league) so we can get some sessions in and get some players back so we can go again."

However, the Dragons boss said that his players may need to approach games a bit differently as he felt they had been "naïve at times" so far this season and that it had cost them points.

Monti added: “There are a lot of teams who are of a similar standard and I think anyone can beat anyone.

“In games so far, it seems whoever gets the first goal dictates the play as they can sit in behind the ball and get the win.

“That’s something we need to work on because I think we’ve been a bit naïve at times.

“We try to play nice football at the start of games but haven’t been scoring early enough in league games and if we’ve been punished at the other end and the other side has scored, then that hurts us.

“Maybe we need to win some ugly games."

While Wivenhoe are in Essex Senior Cup action tonight, though, there is Thurlow Nunn League action for some fellow division one south sides.

All have First Division Knockout Cup second round ties, with HALSTEAD TOWN hosting Haverhill Borough, HARWICH & PARKESTON entertaining Cornard United, LITTLE OAKLEY hosting HOLLAND FC and COGGESHALL UNITED heading to Ipswich Wanderers.