Wrens’ new boss Gee sets out plan for survival

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HAVING been in the Rainworth MW hot seat for five weeks new manager Kevin Gee says it’s time to swing his plans for Evo-Stik NPL Division One South survival into action.

In the seven games since Gee took charge the Wrens have won three, lost three and drawn one – a record more akin to mid-table form than that of a club battling against relegation.

And the new boss reckons it’s been a start to his reign that is ‘so far, so good’ – as far as it goes.

But, having spent five weeks getting his feet under the table, Gee announced this week that it’s time to stamp his authority more on the direction the club is taking. - and that could include a number of personnel changes.

Already departed is popular midfielder-turned defender Rob Paling who has been snapped up by Shepshed Dynamo, while there is interest from a Conference North club in another of the Wrens’ favourites who could be about to make the step up to the higher level.

But Gee has his own shopping list, and there should be at least one new face in the squad to face high-flying Stamford on Saturday, while a number of other seven-day approaches have gone in.

The Stamford game is Rainworth’s only home match of December, and although the Daniels are currently flying high at the top end of the division it is one that Gee is relishing.

He said: “This will be a benchmark as to how far we have come in the last five weeks. Stamford’s manager Tommy Brookbanks and his assistant Gary Stones are both good personal friends who I’ve known for a long time, so I’ve a fair idea of how they will play, just as Tommy will know our game.

“They have goalscoring forwards like Nathan Watson and Bruno Holden who can be a real handful, but it’s our one chance during December to pick up any home points, so we’ll be hoping to do that.

“We play a certain way, which I won’t change. I’ve come here to do a job, and that job is to keep us in this division. I’ve been fair to everyone but now it’s time to start to stamp my own way of doing things on the club, both on and off the field.

“People are getting to know my mindset, and with the system we play and the people to play it we know it will take a good side to beat us.

“We are where we are, and we have to work within the financial limitations of the club, but if players want to play for Rainworth they do it my way, and I like to think that when others are looking forward to fixtures against us they know they are in for a tight game.”

Rainworth go into Saturday’s match having ended a mini-run of two defeats by drawing at Romulus on Monday night with a squad down to the bare bones.

Tommy Hannigan, Nathan Adams and Niall O’Rafferty all picked up injuries in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Leek Town and were among a long list of absentees at Romulus. There will remain question marks about the fitness of all three, but the Romulus visit marked the end of Ian Clarke’s three-match ban so he will be in contention for a place in midfield

Meanwhile Brookbanks’ presence at Kirklington Road will evoke memories among the longer-standing Wrens supporters of many a feisty battle with clubs like John Player and Sneinton (now Carlton Town) where he played in the old Notts Alliance.