STANWAY ROVERS boss Danny Slatter believes his players can make a “real statement” against title-favourites Stowmarket Town.

The Suffolk side are top of the Thurlow Nunn League with seven wins from nine games, having flexed their muscles with a 7-0 thumping of fourth-placed Woodbridge Town on Saturday.

Rovers have also made a strong start, though.

Slatter’s men have won four of their six matches, in addition to FA Vase and Essex Senior Cup success.

And the Stanway boss insists his players are ready and prepared for the challenge at Greens Meadow.

“Stowmarket are rightly regarded as the favourites to win our league,” he said.

“People talk about their budget but that can only get you so far.

“If you haven’t got the right players, togetherness, ethos and work ethic, you won’t win anything.

“They score a lot of goals but they’ve also kept a lot of clean sheets, so we know it’s going to be a real challenge.

“They’re a big club with aspirations to go up and they showed their credentials by beating Woodbridge 7-0.

“My boys will be up for it, though. Definitely.

“And if we could go there and get a positive result - a draw or, better still, a win - it would make a real statement.”

Stanway trio Jonathan Carver, Jack Baker and Remi Garrett are former Stowmarket players while director of football Angelo Harrop also enjoyed a successful spell at Greens Meadow.

“We’ll have a bit of info on them, given those connections, but you can have all the info in the world,” added Slatter.

“If you don’t apply yourselves properly and do things properly you won’t get anything.

“We know what we’re capable of on our day but to do that we’ve got to win the battle and get on top as much as possible.

“I’m really looking forward to it.”

Stanway joint-assistant boss Craig Hughes believes tomorrow’s game acts as a yardstick for his Rovers team.

He says it will be an interesting gauge to see where they’re at, compared to the early pacesetters.

“It’s going to be a really big test,” said Hughes.

“It’s a benchmark because we know they’re going to be right up there, as one of the top runners in the division.

“It’ll give us some idea of where we are and what we can achieve this season.

“With the lads they’ve got and knowing some of the players that are over there, I’d imagine they’ll be very strong in the league and Vase.

“At this level, I don’t think you’ll find many teams or squads stronger than the Stowmarket one.

“They’ve got a great opportunity to do very well so it’s going to be a big challenge for us but one we’ll definitely step up to.”