Rayment: Don’t let our standards drop

Lewis Webb
Lewis Webb
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Spalding United manager Pat Rayment won’t allow the high standards to fall as they look to extend an unbeaten run.

The Tulips enter 2015 in fourth place in the Evo-Stik League First Division South after 11 games without defeat since October.

The three-month run began at home to Gresley who will be Saturday’s opponents in Derbyshire.

Spalding are due to be in action on New Year’s Day (3pm) against Carlton Town at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.

Rayment is ready to make changes with Lewis Webb and Lee Clarke coming into the Tulips’ midfield.

But they are without the services of striker Jordan Hempenstall (hip), Jordan Nuttell (illness) and Luke Thurlbourne (knee). Forward Tom Waumsley has recovered from illness.

Player-coach Webb is back in the Spalding squad just a week after being released from prison for drink-driving and driving while banned.

Rayment said: “He has made a mistake but I had no hesitation in retaining him.

“He’s a very good footballer and we will need him as we make progress.

“On his day he is one of the best midfielders at this level and the division above.

“What happened to him has given him a jolt and I hope he will learn from that.”

Clarke is set to make his full debut following a couple of substitute appearances.

Rayment added: “I have kept the same team for the last three games but the performance levels have deteriorated match by match.

“So I’m going to change the system and Lee will be very much part of that.

“His background and pedigree puts him up there but he has been patient and he understands why he hasn’t been in the team so far.

“Now I’m in a position to freshen things up and I won’t let our standards drop.

“Other teams are going to make it difficult for us but that’s something we will have to deal with.

“We must stay strong as a team. We were winning and playing well and we are still unbeaten even though the standards have dropped in the last few games.

“There are players who have been waiting in the wings for their chance. We can change the way we play and it’s nice to have plan A and B.”

Meanwhile, striker Mark Jones is set to leave Spalding on a free transfer following a loan spell at Boston United which runs out in mid-January.

He will rejoin the Pilgrims on a permanent deal in their bid for a play-off place in the Conference North.

Rayment said: “He’s a smashing lad and we wish him all the best. He needs to get back to where he was two years ago by working hard.”