Stringy: ‘Have no fear’

Lancaster City v Blyth Spartans.'Leon Gierke.
Lancaster City v Blyth Spartans.'Leon Gierke.
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NEW Garstang boss Michael Stringfellow says his players need have ‘no fear’ as they prepare to take on two of the top sides in the league in their final scheduled fixtures before Christmas.

Rock bottom Garstang travel to third-placed Charnock Richard this Saturday, then have a home game against fourth-placed Blackpool Wren Rovers a week later.

And while Stringfellow was left frustrated that last weekend’s home game against fellow strugglers Slyne-with-Hest fell victim to the weather, he says he is still confident Garstang can get the right results from their next two games.

Stringfellow said: “I was hoping we could get that all important first win on Saturday and go into these games full of confidence so it was disappointing the game against Slyne was off, but I think they (Charnock and Wren Rovers) should not under-estimate us.

“Everyone is confident and really buzzing about the future of the club and I don’t think anyone should be worried about these games.

“I have seen enough to know we have some decent players already here and with a few new additions and some good organisation I am confident we can start moving in the right direction in the league.

“It is a close league and although people may think we have a 10 point gap to bridge I think that if we get organised, keep clean sheets and start addressing the scoring at the other end we will get the results.’’

He has already strengthened his squad, recruiting experienced striker Leon Gierke, who is making a return to the Riverside after a brief spell under Barrie Stimpson, and this week signing exciting young midfielder Mike Nolan from AFC Fylde.

Gierke has also played at AFC Fylde alongside Stringfellow, as well as spells at Lancaster City and TNS in the Welsh League.

Nolan, at 19, is described by Stringfellow as a ‘real prospect’, with plenty of strength and power and an eye for goal.

He came through the under 18s and reserves at Fylde and last season made a couple of first team appearances.

“I want to bring in more players, create some competition for places’’ said Stringfellow.

“The game being off on Saturday gave us another chance for a training session and I have had a good look at them.

“The more we get to work together and get organised, so they get used to the way I want them to play, I am confident we can turn this around.’’

Garstang will certainly need to be well organised on Saturday and will welcome player-manager Stringfellow’s presence in the back four against free-scoring Charnock.

They have have hit 46 goals in their 14 games so far this season, an average of more than three goals a game.

They are genuine title contenders and currently lie third, just three points behind leaders Poulton but crucially still with two games in hand. They are also unbeaten at home this season.

Wren Rovers are also still in the title chase in fourth, and worringly for Garstang, who host them on December 17 at the Riverside, their away form is better than their home form, winning five times on the road this season.