Sussex captain Ed Joyce shrugs off dip in Championship form

Ed Joyce
Joyce has scored 370 Championship runs at an average of 26.42 this season

Sussex captain Ed Joyce says his team should not be worried by Championship relegation fears.

The Hove side have lost five of their last six Division One games and are fifth in the table, having played a game more than the bottom four.

"Halfway through the season we have 80-odd points. That's not a disaster," the 36-year-old told BBC Sussex.

"If you double that you're certainly not going down - I wouldn't have thought so."

He added: "We're realistic about where we are. A lot of it is circumstance and the way it has gone; pitches we've played on, a few tosses and lots of injuries."

Sussex finished third in Division One in the last two season but this year fitness issues have taken their toll.

Sussex's Championship results
Beat Hampshire (a) by 92 runsBeat Warwickshire (h) by one wicket
Beat Worcs (h) by 61 runsLost to Notts (a) by 159 runs
Lost to Durham (a) by six wicketsLost to Hampshire (h) by six wickets
Lost to Middlesex (h) by 79 runsLost to Durham (h) by 178 runs

Bowlers James Anyon, Lewis Hatchett, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills and Ajmal Shahzad have all had spells out, Michael Yardy missed nearly a month with a bicep injury and an Achilles problem forced Matt Prior into retirement.

"We thought we would have a chance of winning the competition but our hopes seem to be fading away," Joyce said.

"It's difficult to win games if you haven't got bowlers to take a lot of wickets. We need to get people back on the park and work out how to keep them there."