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Whitstable Town manager Nicky Southall wants Ryman League Division 1 South safety assured so he can plan for next season

By Alex Hoad

Nicky Southall says ensuring Whitstable’s safety as soon as possible is the only priority so Town can enjoy a relaxed season finale and start building a squad for next year.

The Oystermen won 2-0 at Ryman League, Division 1 South rivals Crawley Down Gatwick on Tuesday, relegating their hosts and taking a huge step towards their own survival.

Nicky Southall
Nicky Southall

The win took Town to 50 points for the season and though their gap over the drop-zone could be back to five points with three games to play by the time they visit Hastings on Saturday, manager Southall said he hopes it will allow his players to relax and focus on setting a club record.

He said: “We’ve not had the best spell but at least the draw against Tooting (on Saturday) stopped the rot.

“We still need points, but hopefully after getting a win we can then concentrate on trying to finish as high as we can.”

He added: “We can start looking at 54 points which I believe is the most the club have ever achieved at this level.

“We want points on the board, then we can start to play with freedom like the other teams with nothing riding on the outcome, which enables them to be relaxed.

“The pressure has been on us because everyone knows we need points. When we are safe, I want to look ahead to what we have for next year, look at some under-21 players and see what we need to try and build the kind of squad we want here.”

Town have a potentially decisive home clash against relegation rivals Redhill at The Belmont on Easter Monday (3pm).

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