NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Soham Town Rangers determined to climb out of their slump in 'huge' Saturday clash
PUBLISHED: 11:12 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:12 04 December 2019
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Assistant boss Erkan Okay has urged the Soham Town Rangers squad not to allow themselves to be sucked into a relegation battle following a November slump.
The Greens have slid to 15th position in the BetVictor North Division after picking up just two points from six league games last month.
The last of those was a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Witham Town last Saturday when Rangers were left up against it by the dismissal of Matt Allan late in the first half for kicking out at an opponent.
It means they are in urgent need of an upturn in form as they head to second-bottom Brentwood Town this Saturday, 3pm.
"It's a huge game," said Okay.
"We can't afford to fall into a relegation battle especially after starting the season so well.
"We're frustrated with the results, but the lads have always had togetherness to come through tough spells and I'm sure we'll do that again.
"There's no denying we're struggling with injuries, but we have to dig deep to turn the corner.
"I feel we're in a position where one good result could really kick-start our season again and hopefully it comes on Saturday.
"The league table is crazily tight and we know we could jump up a lot of places with a win."
Only the team finishing bottom is certain to be relegated this season.
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Romford currently prop up the standings but are unlikely to remain in that position after recently being taken over by flamboyant owner Glenn Tamplin.
Soham are currently nine points clear of Romford and have a five-point cushion on Saturday opponents Brentwood.
Their 10 men two Witham goals in the second half last weekend after Allan saw red.
Substitute Tom Newman halved the arrears from the penalty spot deep into stoppage time after Ally Conway was brought down.
And while Okay was encouraged by the effort of his players in defeat, he admits there can be no more losses of discipline.
"The sending off was a big moment in the game," said Okay.
"It was a very flat match with no real urgency or tempo from either team.
"Going down to 10 men made it more difficult for us and it's something we have to learn from.
"I don't want to take passion away from the players, but we definitely have to think about ways in which we channel our frustration during a game.
"The lads gave it a go in the second half but we ended up being caught on the counter-attack a couple of times.
"It's a game we really needed to get something from but we didn't manage to do that."
Allan begins a three-match suspension this Saturday while defender Lee Chaffey and assistant boss Okay are both out injured.