Pickering Town put plans in place for next season

Mitch Cook says his free-scoring Pickering Town side need to shore up in defence next season to challenge at the top of the Northern Counties East League

Mitch Cook says his free-scoring Pickering Town side need to shore up in defence next season to challenge at the top of the Northern Counties East League

First published in Sport
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MANAGER Mitch Cook says it "doesn't take a genius" to know where Pickering Town need to strengthen this summer.

Cook has already made enquiries about potential new signings as plans are put in place for 2014/15, saying the high number of goals both scored and conceded make it obvious where the Pikes need to improve next term.

When asked if he had irons in the fire regarding new recruits, Cook said: "I've enquired about a couple, but after a few years in this league I've learned that people can say one thing but you don't know if you've got them until they sign on the dotted line so I'm not going overboard about it."

As for areas he wants to strengthen, he replied: "We've scored 120 goals but let in 70-odd. You don't need to be a genius to work it out. At one end we're doing well but the other end is letting us down. You look at the team as well, though, as you can't blame goals conceded only on your goalkeeper and defenders.

"We're looking to strengthen throughout. If a striker turns up who's going to get you 50 goals, you will still take him.

"We've identified a few players but we're not getting carried away yet."

First up, though, Cook wants his current crop to secure sixth place in the Northern Counties East League premier division by upping their unbeaten run to six game in their last outing of term at Nostell Miners Welfare tomorrow (3pm).

The five-match sequence has cheered the boss since Town's 5-0 drubbing at Tadcaster Albion, and he hopes the players will put end-of-season apathy to one side this weekend.

"We can either finish sixth or 10th so the result is important - I want to finish sixth, not 10th," said Cook, wary that the game is otherwise a dead rubber.

He added: "You hope the players think, 'I want to be here next season, and be a part of it and do something,' and we do want to take good form from the end of this season into next.

"We have responded well after the Tadcaster game. The target was to win the last six and we've so far won five and drawn one with one to go.

"But last Saturday's game (a 1-1 draw at Thackley) had a real end-of-season feel to it, with nothing to play for. It wasn't good enough really - you want to win and to do things right and play with a lot of enthusiasm - but it's understandable. Everybody - both teams, the spectators - knows there's nothing counting on it. It's no excuse, though."

Tadcaster Albion complete their impressive runners-up campaign at Liversedge.

Leaders Brighouse lost at home to Bridlington on Monday but they were already assured of the title and promotion to the Evo-Stik League, with Albion, four points adrift, assured of second spot.

Selby Town host Rossington Main in a mid-table end-of-season affair in division one, while Knaresborough Town go to Dinnington with an outside chance of scraping fifth place.

Harrogate Town finish their Skrill Conference North campaign tomorrow at fallen Football League stalwarts Stockport County.

Second-half goals from Ashley Worsfold and Dan Clayton sealed a 3-1 win over Barrow on Easter Monday after fit-again Anton Brown's early goal had been cancelled out, but Town's faint play-off hopes were still put to bed.

Youngster Alex Metcalfe impressed that day and may get a second league start of term tomorrow.

Busy Scarborough Athletic followed Monday's 2-1 home defeat to Goole with a 1-1 draw at Sheffield on Wednesday night and they complete their campaign in the Evo-Stik League division south away to Loughborough Dynamo on Saturday. Ben Middleton put them ahead in midweek but Max Pembleton levelled for Sheffield on half-time.

Harrogate Railway held Farsley to a goalless draw on Monday to end the latter's hopes of a play-off place in division one north. Mid-table Rail finish on Saturday at home to Warrington Town, a side safely entrenched in the top five.

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