FOOTBALL: Three-point plan for Deeping Rangers

Jason Kilbride
Jason Kilbride

Manager Michael Goode has highlighted key areas for Deeping Rangers to improve after last season’s second-half collapse.

A positive start to the campaign was erased as they finished in 10th place with just two league wins in 2016.

But the majority of the squad have agreed to stay and Goode has identified how they can avoid a repeat of that poor run of results since New Year.

He said: “We need to have a mindset where winning football matches is more important than how we play.

“We need to shut out games by settling for draws or 1-0 wins instead of going all out to score more goals and getting caught out at the other end.

“Of course, we still want to play attractive football.

Michael Goode

Michael Goode

“Our second key area will be competition for places where you must play well to stay in the side.

“And our final plan is being more adaptable in terms of our formation depending on the players who are available.

“We stuck with 4-2-3-1 last season and tried to play that way even when we were putting square pegs into round holes.

“As a management team we will look at that but the players have got to deliver on a more consistent basis.

We need to have a mindset where winning football matches is more important than how we play.

Michael Goode

“We also want them to keep themselves fitter to earn their expenses rather than just turning up to play.

“The squad will be similar to last season but we wanted to keep everything quiet over pre-season.

“We thought we had got our main transfer target Craig Smith from Peterborough Northern Star but nothing could be signed and then he went to Eynesbury Rovers which was very disappointing.

“Spencer Tinkler has gone to Holbeach United. We really wanted him to stay but he had reasons for leaving.

“He wanted a fresh start after being at Deeping for such a long time.

“He feels that maybe he has a better chance of winning trophies at Holbeach as well.

“He has been a good servant to Deeping but if players want to leave that’s up to them.”

Ryan Semple is unlikely to be available regularly due to work commitments and Chris Hibbitt has left Deeping.

Goalkeeper Danny Bircham has taken ‘semi-retirement’ for a coaching role with Rangers so Alex Pycock is set to become the number one.

Dan Flack has been named as vice-captain to skipper David Burton-Jones.

Matt Carter has rejoined from Northern Star while Ben Lewis and Fraser Sturgess could be available again.

Jason Kilbride is back in action after a broken leg and Jonny Clay has joined Deeping on a permanent basis having played a few games at the end of last season.

Danny Barker – who played at Blackstones and Northern Star – has also been added to the squad.

Former St Neots Town pair Dan Schiavi and Luis Vieira are also set to be part of Deeping’s line-up this season.

Charlie Coulson is back at Outgang Road while former Holbeach United player Callum Madigan – who was captain at Northern Star – is expected to join Rangers as well.

The season starts for Deeping on Saturday with a trip to Ely City in the Emirates FA Cup extra preliminary round.