Sharp-shooter Martin backing Castle for top job

PUBLISHED: 16:30 15 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 06 May 2010

Simon Martin bagged a goal to mark his return. Photo: Leigh Page

Simon Martin bagged a goal to mark his return. Photo: Leigh Page

STRIKER Simon Martin has added his backing to the growing calls for caretaker boss Steve Castle to be given the permanent job at Saints. Martin returned to the club last week on loan from Hayes & Yeading and netted on inside the opening five minutes at Ha

STRIKER Simon Martin has added his backing to the growing calls for caretaker boss Steve Castle to be given the permanent job at Saints.

Martin returned to the club last week on loan from Hayes & Yeading and netted on inside the opening five minutes at Havant & Waterlooville. The recovery from the home side to win 3-1 left Saints contemplating a run of five matches without a win in the league, but Martin believes a turnaround under Castle is on the cards. He said: "Steve is a very good coach. We went through the pattern of play and how we were going to set up on Saturday. Now we must make sure we do it not for patches in games but for longer periods. We were disappointed on Saturday not to come away with at least a point and we have one or two training sessions before Eastleigh to make sure Steve can get a bit more of what he wants out of us.

"I think the effort is there for all to see. Hopefully I can bring a bit more experience and help the youngsters and encourage that team spirit. Scott Cousins and Lee Clarke will help motivate everyone and we have to stick together. We have to forget about the results we have had, get a bit of belief in the lads, and focus on the next few games to bring the points we need."

On Saturday Saints will be without Jon Stevenson, Paul Bruce, Jomo Faal-Thomas and Craig Vargas who are all suspended for the trip to Eastleigh. Dean Cracknell is expected to rejoin from Hemel Hempstead Town and Hasim Deen should return to the squad after missing out last weekend due to family reasons. Castle is also looking to make signings ahead of the trip. He said: "We hope to have one or two more coming in before Saturday. We are looking to bolster the squad."

The caretaker boss was impressed by the performance of signings Simon Martin and defender James Quilter who lined up in midfield and did a strong job on Saturday. Centre back Ben Martin also made an impression having missed the final games of the Dave Anderson era.

Chairman John Gibson watched on as Saints put in a lively display at Havant and is unlikely to make a permanent appointment before this weekend. Castle has emerged as the strong favourite for the post and believes the results will soon turn in his favour. He said: "Because I am employed by the football club I am happy to step into the breach as it were. I am enjoying it, not the results, but I think we are not far away from it. There are a lot of positives to take at the moment and it would not surprise me if we went on a run of undefeated games very soon.


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