FOOTBALL: Deeping Rangers look to extend unbeaten run
Deeping Rangers manager Michael Goode wants to “start all over again” in 2017.
Five successive wins during December extended their unbeaten run to 19 games in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League.
The Clarets are currently third in the Premier Division but they had looked to be in a strong position at the start of 2016, only to drop down the table with a record of just two wins in four months.
Goode said: “I was a nice way to end the year but we’re on a winter break now so we need to think that run has come to an end and we must start all over again.
“We want to stay unbeaten for as long as possible but we need to take provisions now with players missing games.
“We have nearly matched last season’s points total but – despite our run – Eynesbury Rovers, Desborough Town and other top teams have also kept winning.
We’ll have to keep going and we won’t look too much further ahead than the next game at Harborough Town.
“So we haven’t closed the gap on Peterborough Sports and we haven’t really pulled away from the pack behind us either.
“We’ll have to keep going and we won’t look too much further ahead than the next game at Harborough Town.
“Peterborough Sports are rarely dropping points but I’m sure everyone else will have a couple of draws or defeats – and I include ourselves. We need to make sure we match everybody else.”
Charlie Coulson could be back from a knee injury for Saturday’s trip to Harborough.
Vice-captain Dan Flack served a one-match ban for the Boxing Day win away to Harrowby United.
However, midfielders Dan Schiavi and Henry Dunn are set to miss upcoming games.
Goode added: “We have got a tight-knit group but in terms of injuries and the absence of players, we will probably look to add one more to see us through this period.
“We made the mistake last year when we lost a couple of players and didn’t strengthen when we were doing well.
“Later in the season that meant we were short in terms of numbers and at that stage, people are more reluctant to join a new club.
“So we’ll look to get a short-term deal for someone who suits our style of play and can fit into the squad.”
Dunn is unavailable for next week’s games against Wisbech Town and leaders Peterborough Sports.
Rangers will be boosted on Saturday by the return of defender Jack Cotton who comes into the squad for the first time in a year.
Meanwhile, Bourne Town are looking to start the new year as they ended 2016.
The Wakes have only lost once in nine games over the past two months.
But they face a tough test at third-placed Olney Town in Division One on Saturday.