New signing heralds change in playing style

NEW RECRUIT: Sheridan Driver, who has made a return to Needham Market from Leiston
NEW RECRUIT: Sheridan Driver, who has made a return to Needham Market from Leiston
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Needham Market manager Mark Morsley has confirmed the arrival of Sheridan Driver will coincide with a change in style for the Marketmen.

The versatile midfielder, who can also operate at centre-half, arrived from Leiston on Thursday and started in Needham’s 3-0 pre-season defeat to professional outfit Colchester United, the club he began his career with, on Saturday.

The Sky Bet League One side named a strong squad at Bloomfields including former Ipswich Town defender David Wright and ex-Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison, with the latter netting the third following strikes from Marcus Bean and Gavin Massey either side of the interval.

Despite the defeat Morsley — whose side host East Thurrock United tomorrow (3pm) — heaped praise on his players’ application and hailed the signing of his newest recruit.

“It was an exceptional workout and I think we did extremely well,” he said. “That was an extremely strong Colchester side and to be able to give that experience to some very young lads is fantastic and I think they competed very well, which is very pleasing.

“We spoke to Sheridan on Thursday and everything moved very quickly.

“He’s played for me at a number of clubs and you can see by his organisation that he is a top player.

“He covers the ground exceptionally well and talks a lot, which is important in the centre of midfield.

“He is a very experienced player at this level and higher, which I think is important, and I am delighted to have him at the club.

“We are in a good place at the moment and looking strong ahead of the season.”

Driver looks set to fill the void at the heart of midfield left by Bradley Barber who departed earlier this summer.

Morsley conceded the decision to let Barber go was in relation to a change in playing philosophy with his new recruit more suited to the style that the manager wants to see Needham play this season, with an emphasis on defensive stability.

“Bradley was technically an exceptional player whereas Sheridan is a proper defensive-minded player who will do a lot of the dirty work and cover positions,” he added. “We decided to let Bradley go because he didn’t play the way my middle two will, which is to win the ball back and get it out wide or get the ball into the man in the hole.

“Sheridan will play that role and we have three or four options as to who will line up alongside him in there.”

Needham: Plummer, Brown (Cripps), Nunn, Morphew, Coakley, Driver (Redgrave), Ingram, Newson (Townrow), Wareham, Charles (Garrad), Guy (Bloomfield).