Middlesex ‘have work to do’ says Scott
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With just three championship matches remaining title-holders Middlesex can still hear the relegation trapdoor creaking beneath them.
Frustrated by the weather as their clash with Yorkshire ended in a draw last week, after 198 overs were lost, they are set to host Hampshire at Uxbridge on Tuesday.
Head coach Richard Scott said: “There is still a great deal of work to be done. The thing is that while Essex are clear favourites to win the championship, having won an amazing seven games out of 11, there is no way Lancashire will have given up on the race.
“They will strongly believe they can still reach the title. And even though Hampshire are further behind in third place they will have a lot to play for in terms of prize money and professional pride. And Hampshire haven’t totally got rid of relegation worries themselves.”
Somerset’s recent win over Warwickshire has increased the pressure on third-from-bottom Middlesex, as well as Yorkshire and Surrey above them.
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Surrey host Yorkshire in the next round of matches and Scott was frustrated by the outcome at Headingley.
“It was an excellent pitch,” he said. “I’m just disappointed that the crowd didn’t get to see a proper contest because of the conditions. We have had so many great matches against Yorkshire in the past.”
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Before Headingley, Middlesex saw their game against Surrey at The Oval abandoned after a crossbow bolt was fired into the ground on the final day.
Middlesex may still have a lot to play for when they meet Somerset in their final fixture at Taunton on September 25.
Scott added: “What we need to remember is the resilience that made us such a hard team to beat when we won the championship last year. We will have to fight all the way, with no quarter given. We will be fighting for our lives right up until the end.
“There have been some inconsistencies this season. But despite our position we have a number of very fine players, wholehearted players, and a deep squad to call on, which we’ve needed at times, with injuries and calls from England and Ireland.”
Following the early finish to the Lord’s Test, Scott is hoping to welcome back a fit and rested Toby Roland-Jones for the Hampshire game, but batsman Nick Gubbins has a hamstring injury and is not expected to be fit.