Little hopes to strengthen squad during transfer window

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BERWICK Rangers manager Ian Little is hoping to win the backing of the board in order to strengthen his squad during the forthcoming January transfer window.

Rangers, who have slipped from the fringe of the play-off race in recent weeks, need to kick on in the second half of the season and Little says one of the ways of doing this will be to bring in new faces to freshen things up.

Little has targeted a new goalkeeper and striker as his priorities, but he admits it will not be easy.

“Goalkeepers and strikers are always hard to find,” he said, “and of course it all depends what the directors say.”

The manager is also hoping to hold on to two young players who have impressed and whom he thinks might attract the attention of possible suitors.

“Dougie Brydon and Darren Lavery have both come on a lot since the start of the season,” he said, “and there might be clubs trying to tempt them away.”

Brydon, who has starred in his central defensive role since joining from home town club Duns in the East of Scotland League, is known to have been watched by scouts from a string of clubs on both sides of the border, including Hibernian, Sunderland, Stoke and Leeds.

“Dougie has done really well since joining the club,” said Little “and of course I would like to keep him.

“His performances have dipped a little over the past three or four weeks, and that might be the result of not having played at this level before, but in saying that he has a lot of potential.

“The same goes for Darren (Lavery) who has been banging in a few goals for us lately.

“Teams are always looking for players who can score goals so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone came in for him.

“I would never stand in any young player’s way if they have the chance to move on up the ladder, but of course, given the chance, I would also like to keep him here, because he is still learning the game and I would like to see him develop further with us.”

Stevie Notman, who has been another of Berwick’s most consistent players so far this season, endorses the need for Little to strengthen the squad.

“During the January window there will always be some fringe players who want to move on,” said Notman.

“Other players might get the chance to move up with a bigger club so it is important we strengthen up as much as we can.

“We have slipped up a bit over the past few weeks, but we are still in the mix for the play-offs and there is still a long way to go so we have to try and give it our best shot.

“Traditionally December hasn’t been a good month for us -we haven’t won a home league match in December since 2008 and that isn’t good.

“Perhaps it is the fact that heavier pitches start to come into play and as a side who like to get the ball down and pass it a lot it really doesn’t help us.

“Maybe there is a need now and again to go long and try and get the ball forward as quickly as we can.”

Notman also agrees that there is a need to sign a player who can give them different options up front.

“Sometimes this season we have been playing really well,” he said, “but the lack of alternatives up front has meant we have not always scored as many goals as we might have.”