Saints boss Ian Allinson looking for Concord lift-off in National League South opener
PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 August 2016
Ian Allinson will make sure his Saints side approaches Saturday’s Vanarama National League South opener with Concord Rangers at Clarence Park with the same conviction as in the latter stages of last season’s successful relegation escape
City picked up seven wins, including a 2-1 victory at Rangers in March, and two draws from their final 10 league games in the latter stages of the 2015/16 campaign to beat the drop by two points.
Now preparing for his first full season at the helm of a new-look City, Allinson is looking to use some of his previous traits to get the team off to a flying start.
Speaking after Saints’ 2-1 Herts Charity Cup win over Ware on Tuesday night, the City boss said: “I watched them [Rangers] on Saturday against Canvey Island and they looked very organised with good players in areas that can cause you problems.
“We have to approach the clash like we did last season. It’s going to be a long, hard, 42-game season.
“We have a tough start with Saturday and Tuesday games until the middle of September and the FA Cup starts up for us.”
He added: “We just want to get as many supporters to Clarence Park on Saturday as possible.
“When we get a crowd in there and they get behind the players, it showed in the last six or seven games how important it is so the more we get there the better it will be for us.”
City will tackle the opening stages of the season without three faces from their pre-season preparations.
He continued: “I’ve spoken to Billy Gibson, Matt Whichelow and Danny Green in terms of their game time.
“Billy will be around but we’ll try and find him some games so we’ll do a dual registration for him.
“Danny wants to play more regularly which is fine so he’s going to speak to one or two clubs who have been in touch with him.
“With Matty, I just felt with the two wide players, Rhys Hoenes and Shaun Lucien, that I didn’t really need a third player. We’ve got Matt Ball and Junior [Morias] who can do the same in midfield so we’ve got good options. It’s unfortunate they won’t be involved for the start of the season.
“I’ve gone with the squad that I felt most comfortable with and we have a luxury of having players who can play in four or five different positions which will help us as the season unfolds.”