Respected Deeping Rangers chief Tuncay Korkmaz has hailed rivals Holbeach United as a team ‘worthy of being champions’ ahead of Saturday’s derby at Carter’s Park.
The Turkish tactician, who won the UCL Premier Division with Rangers back in 2007, has seen his side beaten three times by the Tigers already this campaign.
And although Korkmaz is keen to dent Holbeach’s title charge this weekend, he admits it’ll be a tough ask for his side.
“You have to give credit to Holbeach and John Chand,” said the former Stamford boss. “They’ve spent a bit of money on their team, but others have spent more and not done as well as they have.
“John has done a great job building a team that has been going out and getting result after result.
“I’ve seen a lot of top teams at this level and they are certainly one that is worth of winning the league. You don’t get where they are without being a good side.”
Rangers go into the game on a four-game winless run in the UCL Premier Division – but they did batter rivals Bourne Town 5-0 at the Abbey Lawn on Tuesday night, reaching the last four of the Hinchingbrooke Cup in the process.
Goals from Ciaran Holt (35), Simon Ashton (53), Alex Beck (54), Matt Heron (61) and a maiden strike from former Spalding United winger Tom James (63) sunk the Wakes in emphatic fashion.
But Holbeach have had much the better of them this season, having won the league reverse 3-1 back in September.
The Tigers also dumped Deeping out of the UCL League Cup with a 4-2 success at Carter’s Park – and prevailed 2-1in the Lincs FA Senior Trophy at Outgang Road.
And although their league form has been below-par lately, the Deeping boss is still hopeful of getting a result
Korkmaz added: “I’d hoped for at least four points from our last two games against Wellingborough and S& L Corby, but got just one. Maybe we’ll get something we don’t expect on Saturday instead.”
Rangers could hand a debut to hitman Ryan Oliver at Carter’s Park, having sealed a deal to sign him from Sleaford Town.