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Coach Paul Grayson issues Essex four-win challenge
ESSEX'S head coach Paul Grayson has challenged his team to win all four of their remaining games and give themselves a shot at promotion.
Worcestershire arrive at the County Ground today, one point behind third-placed Essex, who have a match in hand over their opponents.
Lancashire lead the division two table with 213 points, pursued by Northamptonshire, who have 180 points, and both have played 13 games — one more than Essex, who are 44 points off the pace.
Grayson said: “All we can do now is to win as many games as we can, because the players know the reward that could await them if results go in our favour.
“So we need to win games to put pressure on other teams. Do that and we’ll see where that takes us.
“We might even have to win all four games to catch Northants.
“But first we have to deal with Worcestershire who had a good win last week, so they will have plenty of confidence.
“I’m very happy with the way we are playing and if the players keep doing that, I can’t ask for any more.”
Nick Browne, the 22-year-old left-hander, who made his Championship debut for the county in the fixture at New Road at the end of May, is included in a 12-man squad.
Experienced bowler David Masters also returns having been forced to drop out of the draw with Gloucestershire because of a neck spasm.
But they will have to do without India Test opener Gautam Gambhir, who has returned home for personal reasons after just four matches for the county.
Rain ruined the match between the two teams earlier in the season at New Road where a total of 222 overs were lost including the complete loss of the first day’s action.
Opener Tom Westley made 90 before he became the ninth wicket to fall in an Essex total of 215 all out, while seamer Jack Shantry returned figures of 7-69.
The home side had reached 351-6 with opener and captain Daryl Mitchell contributing 156 before the home side declared and the match drawn.
Since the first meeting in 1910, the teams have met in the County Championship on 143 occasions with Essex recording 43 victories and Worcestershire 33.