SECURING the futures of players to build a team around next season is one of Swindon Supermarine manager Lee Spalding’s priorities ahead of this weekend’s Southern League tie against Dorchester.

A points-drought since Marine’s impressive win over Harrow Borough five weeks ago has dented hopes of reaching the end of season play-offs.

Positioned six points below the play-off frame – crucially with a game in hand – Spalding has far from called off his side’s push for a top five spot.

However, he did suggest team building for next season is already at the forefront of his mind.

“We’ve set goals, and we have to wait until the end of the season to see if we’ve met those goals,” said Spalding.

“But I’m confident with the group we are building that we can be a very strong team next season.

“It’s about making sure we keep the players we want to keep in the squad and build for next season, that will be key.”

Marine’s current position in the division’s top half can largely be pinned on their form throughout December and the early part of January – which saw them lose just one game from 10.

Inconsistencies among club’s positioned in mid-table is the primary reason that Spalding’s troops find themselves where they are, according to the manager.

And he has called on his back-line to tighten up after being left frustrated by the two sloppy goals conceded in last week’s 2-1 defeat by Gosport Borough.

Spalding added: “It’s that sort of league – any team can beat any team on their day.

“There are a lot of good teams and players in the division, and if you’re on the ball it’s likely you’ll pick up three points.

“We need to make sure that we are that little bit more consistent in our performances.

“We conceded two sloppy goals last weekend, and that’s definitely our achilles heel at the moment - the fact that we’re conceding goals week in, week out.

“Morale in the squad is still very strong.

“And there are still positives to take from last weekend.

“We dominated the game for 20 minutes, and for most of this year we have played well.

“We’ve just got to go game by game from here, there is no point in looking too far ahead.

“Once a team starts doing that, that’s how you slip up.”