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Martin sets Romford target ahead of facing former favourite

PUBLISHED: 16:48 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:48 28 January 2016

Romford manager Paul Martin (left) with Alex Goldstone (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Romford manager Paul Martin (left) with Alex Goldstone (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026

Jack Barry comes back to Ship Lane this weekend and his old manager wants to make it an unhappy return

Romford manager Paul Martin has called on his side to win six of their final 15 games to ensure they remain in Ryman North.

Boro are currently 17th in the standings and nine points above the bottom three ahead of hosting Thamesmead Town at Ship Lane tomorrow (Saturday).

It looks a comfortable position on paper, but Martin is taking nothing for granted and has set his side a target before the season ends.

“We still play six of the teams below us, so that is the priority,” said the Romford boss. “I think we probably need to get six wins from our last 15 to be safe, but that is not going to be easy because we have just seven victories from 31 so far.

“Losing Jamie Dicks last weekend at Dereham Town and for this Saturday is a big blow due to his two-match suspension. He got that for picking up 10 bookings.”

Romford made the long trip to Norfolk on Saturday, but failed to steal any reward from the Magpies as they were defeated 1-0.

Boro goalkeeper Michael Gooch was finally beaten in the 78th minute by Jake Anema after producing a penalty save in the first half at Aldiss Park.

Martin added: “We changed the team around recently and they need a little bit of time to gel. We lost 1-0 to Sudbury, beat Heybridge Swifts 2-0 and lost at Dereham, so a bit of an improvement, but not what I expected.

“I really fancied us on Saturday, I had watched them before and thought we could win it.

“We huffed and puffed and I don’t know if the travelling got to the boys or the lack of sleep, but it was a dull match and one with few chances for either side.”

Romford’s form on the road hasn’t been great this year with their last success a fine 1-0 triumph at Hornchurch on October 27.

But they have won two of their last three matches at Ship Lane this month prior to Thamesmead visiting this weekend.

“They are pumping some real money into that club and pushing for the play-offs,” said Martin.

“We need to keep going and hopefully we turn the corner soon. It is not a lack of effort from the boys, but the top-10 clubs in the league have that as well as quality.

“You need a forward to do well in this division, somebody that will get you 20 goals and we just haven’t got that unfortunately.”

Former captain Jack Barry will return with Mead tomorrow and Martin praised his old skipper as well as Aveley’s Abs Seymour.

He added: “I spoke to ‘Bazza’ this week to see if he was injured! He comes over and watches us and keeps in touch - the same as Abs.

“They have been loyal to me over the years and both are a good player as well as a friend of mine. I’d love to have them back, but they are doing well and getting some good money now.”

Jack Barry could also come up against his brother Chris at Ship Lane, despite the Romford midfielder not playing since January 9.

Martin revealed that he has to manage the older Barry, but hopes he gets bragging rights of his relative this weekend.

“Chris is in his thirties now and we need to babysit him a little bit. He is a fit lad and is always down the gym, but his legs need to be looked after,” said the Romford boss.

“We have to give him a break but he will be involved on Saturday up against his brother and if he does start, hopefully he can get bragging rights!”

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