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Deeping Rangers host Long Eaton in the United Counties League Premier Division North



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Deeping Rangers manager Daniel French wants his in-form players to focus on their own strengths as they aim to become the first side to beat league leaders Long Eaton this season.

The Clarets host the United Counties League Premier Division North table-toppers at the Haydon Whitham Stadium on Saturday looking for a fifth successive victory.

However, their Derbyshire visitors have won 18 and drawn just three of their 21 league games so far this term, including a 2-1 home victory over the Clarets in their midweek meeting in October.

Deeping manager Daniel French.
Deeping manager Daniel French.

But French feels his side should go into the contest feeling confident after a run of four consecutive wins.

He said: “Confidence-wise and how we are with no injury worries then we will give it a go.

“If we perform like we have done then I certainly think that we will push them.

“If you go into a game against a side like Long Eaton and you’re not in the best run of form then mentality it can be about trying to keep the score down or stopping them doing this and that.

“But we can go into the game and say that it’s a bit about us as well.

“We know that we can defend strong and the way that they play will suit us.

“The questions that they will ask of us are ones that we would rather they ask and we now know that, off the back of the last two or three weeks, we have pace on the break and quality.

“As long as we’re in games after an hour then we have strength in depth as well so let’s make it about us and what we can do rather than just looking to get something.

“We need to play to our strengths and then see what happens because we won’t be going into the game thinking that it’s a free hit for us.”

It needed a last-gasp goal direct from a corner by Long Eaton’s Jamie Walker to separate the sides in the first meeting of the season.

Walker had earlier given Long Eaton the lead from the penalty spot before Robbie Ellis equalised for the Clarets who face a run of rearranged fixtures next month after Saturday’s clash with the league leaders.

They start February with a trip to Newark before hosting Eastwood and then travelling to county rivals Holbeach and Skegness.

French added: “Hopefully we can continue our form into February because we have closed that gap now in terms of league positions.

“We haven’t moved loads position-wise but it’s now only two or three points between us and the likes of Heather St John, Leicester Nirvana, Melton and Skegness.

“It was eight, nine or 10 points before so it’s been a really good month for us.”



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