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Whistable Have to Stop the Rot Quickly

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Justin Luchford, manager of Ryman League Division One South strugglers Whitstable Town, looked back on last….

…Saturday’s performance and said his team have to stop the rot quickly.

Luchford said: “Another defeat and its now starting to hurt us, so we now need to stop the rot.

“I was disappointed in the defending on Saturday as all four goals were avoidable.

“We discussed things after the game and talked through the errors. We will do that again on Thursday night at training and look to not make the same mistakes again.

“It was a tough game and we had a very young side out. If we can take the positives, we scored two again. It doesn’t matter what circumstances, it was important to score. We have to get things right at the other end and that will be our main focus over the next few weeks.

“Over the past week we have been working around the clock to bring some much-needed new faces into the squad. It is important that we don’t sign short-term fixes and we sign players that will hopefully be at Whitstable for a long time to come to get some continuity within the squad.

And we have managed to sign three players.

“Dave King joined last Thursday as Jack Smelt is struggling with a groin injury and we felt it was unfair to chuck Nick Shaw – another recent goalkeeping signing – to back Jack up straight in, bearing in mind our recent set of results and problems on the pitch. So we went for some experience.

“Dave has recently been with Croydon, but last season he played for Cray Wanderers in the Ryman Premier and I watched a number of their games and he was excellent. He is 34 and will give us that experience at the back which is needed at the moment. He’s a big lad, not played for a bit, and by his own admission, needs to sort his kicking out! But that will come with games.

“Up next is a lad that needs no introduction. James Pinnock joins us from Maidstone United.

“James has been around a long time and has a great pedigree amongst the non-League clubs. His work rate is fantastic and is a real football player who is very good with his feet. He will be able to get players to join in to the game and his movement is excellent.

“I believe it`s a great signing for us, as there were a number of clubs chasing him. But we spoke at length and he can see what we are trying to do and wants to be part of a new challenge. It`s great to have him here.

“We also signed Laurence Harvey in the week. Laurence has played for Sittingbourne and last season was plying his trade with Maidstone in the Ryman Premier.

“Laurence is a young lad with a fantastic attitude and wants to succeed. He is a centre back and played for Hythe Town at the beginning of the season but then went on holiday for his Dad’s 50th and has struggled to get back in since.

“He was due to go back to Sittingbourne, but I intercepted the deal at the last minute and managed to persuade him to join us here at the Belmont. He is also excited by the challenge and wants to make this his last move for many seasons to come.

“Finally I can announce that we have completed the signing of Dale Skelton from Faversham Town.

“Dale is a central midfielder with a great work ethic and an eye for goal. Dale will provide a little bit of Ryman experience in there. He is a good footballer and so that now adds to a midfield/attacking midfield department which can all play the game and are comfortable with the ball. That will only help us progress and also help the young lads develop and also gain confidence with the players around them.

“Richard and I think we are pretty much done on the squad front. We are happy with what we have, although we would be happier if all were available! I don’t think I will add anymore, unless either the players that are here prove me wrong, or an exceptional player becomes available that will improve us. That is the key now, only players that can improve this club will be looked at. Whether they are young ones we can bring in to develop or ones that are experienced and can improve the team. But we have to look long-term, I want to be in a position in the summer where I don’t have to add too many and we can be in a totally different position next year.”

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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