Rufer frank on position of Marist after his side pummeled by Stop Out
After just four games Palmerston North Marist look likely candidates for relegation after being smacked 7-0 by Stop Out at Hutt Park on Monday.
Football fans across the Manawatu should be hoping Marist can put their consecutive losses in the Central League behind them and start getting some points especially after Miramar Rangers got off the mark with a 4-3 win over Lower Hutt.
Even the calm demeanour of coach Shane Rufer must be being tested and wasn't hiding from the position his side already finds themselves in.
"It's going to be a difficult year we know that," Rufer said. "But for the good of the region it's important we get in behind the team."
"We need to have a team in the central league and Marist is here at the moment."
After being down 2-0 at halftime Marist didn't help themselves in the second half when combative defender Robbie Yule was sent off after being handed two yellow cards then midfielder Rhys Janes was dismissed for answering autocratic referee Robert Fleetham back.
Rufer wouldn't comment on Fleethams input into the sendings off or other dodgy decisions.
"I don't comment on referees but we didn't adapt to his style."
"The referee had no bearing on the outcome we were just poor and made some disappointing decisions on the pitch."
Unfortunately for Marist, Rufer just doesn't have the quality on his bench if he loses players to injury or suspension.
Out on Monday was captain and key defender Graham Craven, who was sorely missed on Saturday, as well as Adam Cowan who will struggle to play away games.
A top Muay Thai Martial Arts fighter Rufer will also be without striker Bart Rimnongrua when he has fights.
"With our best 11 on the pitch we're good enough to compete but the injuries and now two suspensions make it tough to field a quality team," he said. "We just don't have the depth."
Somehow Marist needs to find some players for their team and there doesn't appear to be anyone else in the other top clubs Red Sox Manawatu, where coach Neil Perry has offered anyone he feels is good enough to play in the central league, or Massey University.
Stop Out had three Marist players from last year in their team with golden boot winner Jeremy Tuck and defender Jono Steele living in Wellington, while it was a shock for Rufer and his team to see their goalkeeper from last year, Palmerston North Boys' High School student Liam Outrim turn up in goal for Stop Out.
Rufer was none the wiser on why Outrim who was unavailable for Marist having decided to go back and keep for the school, fronted for Stop Out.
As he did on Friday, Lee Rufer had a strong game at left back even though he was out of position while central defender Harrison Woolley battled away.
Marist does have quality players with wide attacking player Luke Palfreyman destined to go a long way in football.
Craven and Cowan are dominant vocal players who can take control of any team and steer them around the track.
Rufer said despite players playing out of position spirit in the team was good.
"We can get back on track but we need our very best players to take control and run the team on the pitch and everyone else to give 100% and cut out the silly errors that are costing us."
"The best thing for a bad result like today is to take note of the mistakes and put it behind us and move forward."