Rebels refuse to rule out title - but play-offs are priority

Chris White
Chris White
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WORTHING Football Club manager Chris White and his players have refused to rule out a title challenge in Ryman League Division 1 South – although the play-offs are the priority.

Rebels head into a crucial clash on Saturday, with fellow promotion chasers and Sussex rivals Whitehawk, placed sixth in the table, two points off the play-off places.

But despite currently not even in the top five, although they could climb to fourth by winning their games in hand, Rebels are still eyeing up the pace setters at the top of the table as they head into the season run-in

Their home clash with Chipstead on Saturday was postponed owing to a frozen pitch at Woodside Road, which has allowed Tom Manton and Jamie Brotherton a chance to be fit for Saturday, meaning Rebels will be at full-strength – something White is relishing.

He said: “I’ve said before, these are all big games now. It’s 14 cup finals and they are all as important as each other.

“The little break has done us no harm. We have been playing well and training hard. What are we, nine points off the top? So who knows. But first and foremost the aim is to make sure we are in the top five come the end of the season.

“The boys are looking at the title as a possibility for sure, if we can get a decent run together. We still have a number of the top teams to play including Dulwich and Bognor.

“If we win our games in hand we could be up to fourth and then we are only a few points behind, but there is nothing won or lost at this stage of the season.”

Rebels were at this stage last season still eyeing the play-offs, until a poor run after Christmas saw them fall away. But with a strengthened and more experience side it, looks as though things will be different this year.

White added: “The big difference from last year is the defence. This season we are solid at the back, while last year we were like a sieve.

“We’d have to score three or four goals in a game to win, and some of the games we did we still wouldn’t win, it’s made such a difference to us.

“I’ll be looking to add a couple of signings to the side at some point just as cover for the rest of the season, but at the moment we are going with what we have. We have some good youngsters in Josh Clack, Shaun (Charles) and the others, they are all looking strong.”

Former Rebels midfielder John Lansdale has joined Whitehawk, although it has been agreed he will not play a part in Saturday’s clash.

Rebels travel to County League side Shoreham in a rearranged fixture to defend their Brighton Charity Cup crown on Wednesday.