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Barnard: Willand must strengthen squad

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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WILLAND Rovers assistant manager Andy Barnard says a striker is urgently needed at Silver Street if they are to continue their recent fine form.

Saturday's 1-0 win at Odd Down, which came courtesy of Danny Jee's first-half strike, means Clive Jones' men have won their last three games and are now in striking distance of a clump of mid-table sides.

But, with Rovers still struggling to bolster their squad following a summer exodus, Barnard says reinforcements are urgently needed.

"We still need two or three players – it's as simple as that," said Barnard ahead of Saturday's game at home to Longwell Green Sports. "We still need an out-and-out goalscorer. We need one of those strikers that does absolutely nothing all game but can then pop up and score a goal or two.

"I am speaking to someone this week and hopefully they will agree to play for us this weekend, but we are not going to progress as a team unless we sign a couple more.

"We have been turned down by a player or two recently but we will sit down, draw up a new list and hopefully get a few in."

After Saturday's win, Barnard added that Willand can now start looking up the table rather than down.

"With nine points from nine, if we win one more then we can start overtaking the teams ahead of us and really push on into mid table," he said.

"It is still going to be a long hard season. Those nine points have put us into a position where we can climb the table.

"Having said that, it does work both ways – a couple of defeats and that could put us back down there."

Meanwhile, Elmore boss Pete Buckingham says Devizes Town represent an unknown quantity when they visit on Saturday.

The Wiltshire side are struggling in the first division, sitting just three places from bottom.

But they recorded a superb 5-1 win over Wellington last time out – a result which surprised Buckingham.

"We have got Devizes up next and they gave Wellington a really good spanking at the weekend," he said. "That result surprised me because Jamie Ward has been bringing in a lot of very good players so I don't know what's happened there.

"Wellington have been on a good run recently so that was a surprising result."

The Eagles were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal in a 4-1 defeat at Westbury United on Saturday.

Elmore hit the woodwork three times – including once from the penalty spot – as Matt Harvey's equaliser eventually counted for nothing.

Buckingham also revealed that the club's proposed move to the South West Peninsula League has been well-received by several clubs in the area.

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