Royston boss Castle aims for a stingy New Year

Royston Town Manager Steve Castle

Royston Town Manager Steve Castle - Credit: Archant

As is tradition at the start of each calendar year, resolutions are uttered but rarely fulfilled.

However, Royston Town boss Steve Castle will hope his side can deliver on his New Year’s goal of racking up clean sheets in order to aid their quest for Southern League promotion.

The Crows have kept the opposition out on just four occasions in league and cup this campaign and Castle knows they will have to improve if they are to trouble the division’s big-hitters in the second half of the season.

Castle told the Royston Crow: “We have fallen behind regularly in matches this season so if we simply stop the opponents scoring altogether then we will pick up a lot more points.

“Our record of conceding goals has been average in terms of everyone in the league so I can’t complain about that aspect too much, but it is the going behind first in matches I want to address.

“A clean sheet starts with the keeper and a unity within the back four so if we can work on getting those parts of our game right, I will be much happier.”

Despite setting his sights on shoring up his backline, Castle has also been laying down the law in training regarding Royston’s lack of firepower in the 18-yard box.

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A 4-2 Boxing Day win at St Ives Town, with goals from Kaan Fehmi (two), Gary Hart and an own goal, eased the manager’s attacking fears and he hopes uncertainties in front of goal are a thing of the past.

He continued: “Our shooting has been our Achilles heel as of late especially in our poor run before the Christmas period.

“We had numerous chances against Corby Town and Uxbridge but we didn’t take them and it cost us.

“Luckily we found our shooting boots again at home to North Greenford United and then Kaan Fehmi was on form against St Ives so I think we are moving in the right direction now in that respect.

“The training of late has all centred around quality of crossing and shooting because we have been lacking, and the players won’t want to hear this, but those drills will continue until our finishing becomes second nature.

“A lot of it is down to composure and practice so if we can get those two things right, we will be a more dangerous proposition.”

Two wins in four days have propelled Royston back into the play-off picture and another three points from today’s [Thursday’s] home clash with Barton Rovers would further add weight to their promotion charge.

Despite Rovers currently sitting two places above the Crows in fifth, Castle believes the visitors are out for a “scalp” in what they are calling a “David and Goliath” affair.

Castle said: “They have had a good run, and that reflects in their league position, but they are still aware that beating us would be a huge achievement. I am in no doubt they are out for a scalp so we will have to be on our guard.

“We want to start 2015 as we mean to go on and that means beating the teams around us in order to do well.

“If we could beat them, that would be three wins in a row for us and the confidence will build.”