Ripley: Steelbacks squad is strong enough to turn things around

Northants head coach David Ripley insists his squad is good enough to turn their Vitality Blast campaign around.

Wednesday, 11th July 2018, 1:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:45 pm
David Ripley has seen his side lose their opening three games in the Vitality Blast (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

The Steelbacks have been beaten in all three of their North Group matches so far, losing to Leicestershire Foxes, Notts Outlaws and Lancashire Lightining.

That leaves Northants bottom of the standings, needing at least seven victories from the remaining 11 matches to be in contention for a quarter-final spot.

But despite losing the likes of Adam Rossington and Rob Keogh to injury, Ripley is confident his team can find form.

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“We have lost the first three games before and qualified so we know it can be done but obviously the longer we leave it to get on the board, the harder it’s going to be,” said Ripley.

“It’s getting tougher to keep saying we can bounce back but I do believe we have a squad that can go and win five or six on the bounce.

"But it would be helpful if we weren’t forced to do it to get through and we need to start sooner rather than later.”

After three games in five days, Northants play only once in 10 days – at Worcestershire on Friday – but Ripley said little would change in their preparation.

“We’ll be pushing some individuals to practise a little firmer,” he said.

“Defeats tend to make you think harder about what you’re doing but we won’t change too much otherwise we’re not doing things right in the first place is my view.

“We were in a good spot coming into the competition, we had two good wins in the Championship and a good feeling in the camp but unfortunately you lose the first three games and it brings the pressure back and now we’ve got to respond.

“I’ve had one or two tough scrapes before and I’ve learnt from those and I’m the last person to sit back. I’ve got to keep pushing and hopefully take one or two individuals with me.

“The bottom line is, we just have to play better. We can prepare all we like but we’ve got to turn up at Worcester and put in a 40-over performance.”

Northants have re-signed Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer for the Blast, three years after he left the County Ground.

“I’m really pleased we got Kyle in,” said Ripley.

“I thought we looked a little light and if we were to have another injury or anyone lost form, we’ve got a really experienced player In Kyle who knows the club.

"He’ll bring some experience and calmness into the dressing room.

"In some ways, I hope he doesn’t play but it’s a smart thing to have him in the camp.”