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Dean now upbeat on Lingfield survival

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THINGS are looking up for Lingfield with the club set to benefit from Sidley United's demise.

Lingfield were threatened with relegation from the Sussex County League Division One, despite finishing in the top six, due to failing ground grading on an issue with a path.

However, after troubled Sidley withdrew from Division One on Tuesday, Lingfield manager Dixie Dean is confident only one team, AFC Uckfield, will face the drop.

"Touch wood that is us safe now," he said. "They will relegate the team who finished below us who failed ground grading [Uckfield] and then they should relegate the two teams who didn't fulfil last season's fixtures before they relegate us."

Sussex County League officials met on Tuesday evening to draft the league's constitution for 2013-14 before it is sealed at the AGM tonight [Thursday] – only then will Lingfield find out if they are safe.

However, Dean is adamant that should Lingfield be relegated he will appeal and request to join a different Step 5 league.

"I've spoken to the Kent League [now the Southern Counties East League] and they would have us at the drop of a hat," Dean said. "They only have 17 teams at the moment so they would love us to go over but it's not as simple as that – there is a lot of paperwork involved."

With an appeal possibly looming, uncertainty still hangs over Lingfield and Dean admits it is costing his side.

"I'm two weeks into pre-season and I still don't know what league we are in," he said.

"It's ludicrous and we might not know for weeks yet; we are running out of time before the start of the season.

"This saga has cost me four players; two have left and there are another two who would've signed but they don't want to sign and then find out we are relegated."


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