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Romford boss Martin praises Barking's recent run of form and their manager's signings

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 November 2017

Romford manager Paul Martin looks on (pic Gavin Ellis/TG Photo)

Romford manager Paul Martin looks on (pic Gavin Ellis/TG Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Romford manager Paul Martin dismissed suggestions that Barking should have ever been considered relegation candidates and praised Justin Gardner on the job he is doing.

Boro travel to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday (3pm) as both sides look to continue unbeaten runs.

Gardner’s men, promoted from Essex Senior League last term, have gone eight games without defeat and Martin wants to stop them in their tracks.

“I don’t know why everyone was putting them down as a relegation team, their budget isn’t bad at all, so they were always going to be able to compete in this league,” he said.

“It was a matter of what players they brought in and obviously it took them a little bit of time to find their feet.

“Obviously Justin has come in there and done a brilliant job and has brought the right players in that are getting him results. They’re not spanking anyone, but they’re winning games 1-0 or 2-1 and we’re losing games 1-0 and 2-1, so we’ve just got to make sure we compete all round the park, which I’m sure we will.”

The boss praised Gardner’s recruitment in the summer and throughout the campaign so far, adding: “I know a few of them. We all know Ollie Bowles the keeper, who has been at Brightlingsea, and Abs Seymour, we know, has done some higher level games at teams like Billericay and obviously Justin’s contact with Billericay in the past brought one or two in from there as well.

“He’s gone and worked hard and brought bigger players into the club and one or two from lower leagues, but he’s strengthened from leagues above downwards.

“He’s doing his job and he’s pushing for the play-offs.”

The Boro boss believes his own side’s fortunes – they are four games unbeaten after a 1-1 draw with Aveley on saturday – will start to change now due to the weather and having a settled side.

“I think now the weather is changing, pitches are getting heavier and it all depends what clubs have got – the squads that can cope with hard surfaces, dry pitches and heavy boggy pitches,” he added.

“That’s when we start grafting, working hard and getting our results. At the moment certainly players have got their shirt, but we’ve got a headache in a couple of other positions, where they are probably two or three people fighting for one shirt.”

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