Test of character for Raiders coach

Raiders player-coach Danny Marshall lines up alongside newcomer Stevie Dunnage (pic: John Scott)

Raiders player-coach Danny Marshall lines up alongside newcomer Stevie Dunnage (pic: John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Marshall: I’m determined to pull through

London Raiders player-coach Danny Marshall admits he is facing one of the toughest spells of his career.

Defeats against Isle of Wight and Milton Keynes last weekend made it six in a row for Marshall’s men in National League Division One, before Frankie Harvey asked for his release papers to join rivals Invicta.

And long-serving Marshall, the all-time leading scorer in Raiders history, knows his side need a win against Solent at Lee Valley tomorrow (Saturday, 5.30pm).

He said: “I want to put on a show for the fans and I have been successful as a coach, but this is unchartered territory for me and a test of character.

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“You learn as you go on, but I’m more determined to pull through.

“The fans have done all they can and we could be in worse places, without a team or wasting a big budget.

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“Players get used to winning and it’s down to me and the management to put it right and find the right mix.

“I can’t stand in their way if it’s what they decide to do but it’s frustrating.

“We’re working to a budget but we will look to make the team stronger.

“I’d rather it happen now. There’s a lot of time to put it right and I will put it right. We’ve got to move forward.”

Harvey’s departure follows hot on the heels of defenceman David Oliver’s exit and with Tom Davis unavailable last weekend, the Raiders blue line was particularly short.

Marshall is looking to bolster the ranks, though, and added: “Me and AJ (Smith) playing defence last weekend was not ideal, but it was desperate times.

“We’ve got some good characters and leaders still and we need to get a win. We need (Mike) Brabon to play as good as he can and I’m relying on my senior players.

“We’ve got a whole new team this year and only had three weeks to put it together so there will be times to make changes.

“You build a core and a way of playing and when two or three new players come in, they adapt to that. But when you bring in eight or nine new players you can’t expect that straight away. That’s when you need your older, senior players the most, to show the new ones the way.

“It’s hard to get the best out of everyone when they’re not all getting on, but we need to get results. I can’t just be giving players ice time and we need to make changes to compete in this league.”

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