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Whitstable Town boss Nicky Southall believes his side can become promotion challengers next season

Whitstable Town manager Nicky Southall
Whitstable Town manager Nicky Southall

By Steve Tervet

Nicky Southall believes he can get Whitstable Town promoted next season.

The 41-year-old former Gillingham midfielder is four months into his managerial career, having been appointed Oystermen boss in December.

Whitstable have won just six of 22 games under Southall’s stewardship and they are not yet safe from relegation in Ryman League, Division 1 South.

However, Southall believes that with the opportunity to bring in his own players over the summer, Town could challenge for honours in 2013-14.

He said: "If Dulwich or Maidstone go up, next season could be a real chance for a club like ourselves to get out of this league. It’s an opportunity for a team like Whitstable to go forward and try to get promotion."

On Saturday, the Oystermen host a Hythe side sitting third and unbeaten in their last 13 outings.

Whitstable have taken seven points from their last three games against fellow Kent clubs and Southall wants more of the same this weekend.

He said: "We’ve turned up in the last few Kent derbies. This is a local derby against a team in a rich vein of form.

"They’re going to want to push on to cement their place in the play-offs and we want to finish the season on a high."

James Morrish begins a two-match suspension and Jamie O’Connell is ruled out with a knee injury.

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