Step up in class is ideal preparation for Redbridge

The Motormen are ready for relegation battle after Tooting test.

DESPITE suffering a 3-1 defeat to Tooting & Mitcham in the London Senior Cup on Tuesday night, Redbridge boss Jody Brown believes the test against Ryman Premier opposition is what his side needed as they look to avoid relegation.

Eighteen-year-old Shane Stamp put the Motormen ahead at Oakside in the London Senior Cup clash, but the Terrors hit back strongly and earned their place in the fourth round with a brace from Tyrone Sealey and a Jason Henry effort.

Brown feels it was a big step up in class from the Ryman One North game against Thamesmead and believes he will learn a lot more about his side from the defeat than the league win.

“It was just what we needed after not having a great deal of football in recent weeks,” he said. “Thamesmead were a similar side to us, not having played much, but Tooting gave us a good test.

“Tooting maybe came out a little complacent, but played the better football, although we still created plenty on the counter attack.

“Shane (Stamp) looked good and he was the most threatening player going forward. He is only young and is an exciting prospect.”

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The derby game against Ilford on Saturday was postponed due to a waterlogged Oakside pitch, but with the prospect of at least two games a week now until the end of the season, Brown is looking to boost his numbers.

The boss brought in three players last week, with former Heybridge Swifts and AFC Sudbury defender Erdum Artun, utility player Kevin Coyle from Clacton and former Histon striker Jordan Pavitt joining. However, the 31-year-old still has plans to add to his squad and knows that although they won’t be adding any big names to the squad at Oakside, it is important to create competition amongst the players.

“We don’t have the money to go and cherry pick players, we will have to have a good look around at who is available,” he said.

“We have right up until the start of April to sign players and it is something I will continue to look at throughout the season.

“We probably need to add five or six players to cope with the number of games we’ll have to play. You are looking at eight games a month and you need depth in the squad.”

The Motormen face two league matches in the coming week, with a trip to promotion-chasing AFC Sudbury at the weekend, a team Brown knows well from his days at Tiptree and Halstead Town, before travelling to Wodson Park to face Ware.

“You just have to take every game as it comes, but obviously it is important to start picking up points on a regular basis,” he said.

“I know a lot about Sudbury so we won’t be going into that game blind. It’s another tough tie against a side looking for promotion.”