Newcastle United are set to face Nile Ranger later this month.
The former United player has been given his latest chance by Southend United, starting pre-season training yesterday (Monday) on an initial month-long deal.
Tuesday morning has brought confirmation that Newcastle will face Southend United and potentially Nile Ranger, with a pre-season friendly arranged at Roots Hall on Tuesday 26 July (see details here).
Southend Manager Phil Brown believes he can achieve the impossible on two fronts, getting Nile Ranger to show he deserves to be a professional football player AND give up social media.
The Southend boss has said that he’s trying to convince the former Newcastle player to give up social media but won’t ‘force him to do anything he doesn’t want to’.
The former Hull Manager is the latest in a long line who believes he can get the wayward 25 year old back out on the football pitch and to be productive.
Giving him an initial month of pre-season training with League One Southend, Phil Brown says that he thinks the ‘penny’ might drop now…
Talking up Nile Ranger, Brown describes the striker as having ‘played in the higher divisions for most of his career’.
At best though you would have to say on league starts so far in his career, Nile Ranger should see it as a dream if he can get a deal at League One Southend, as in his entire career he has only made 39 league starts – with 1 in the Premier League, 12 in the Championship and 26 in League One.
Phil Brown speaking to the Basildon, Canvey & Southend Echo:
“Nile Ranger is 25 now and I think you get to a stage in your life when the penny drops, there’s a player in there and I certainly have no doubts about his ability.
“He’s had a chequered past and it’s been well documented what’s happened but we want him to concentrate on his football now.
“With that in mind I’m actually trying to convince him to come off social media but it’s a difficult thing to do and I’m not going to force him to do anything he doesn’t want to.
“But he’s here until the end of July and I’ve spoken to him a few times now.
“There’s a genuine lad in there and I hope it’s a genuine lad who goes out and crosses that white line.
“Nile Ranger has played in the higher divisions (1 start in the Premier League, 12 in Championship, 26 in League One – total of 39 league starts in his ‘career’) for most of his career and if he focuses on his football then we have a player on our hands who can get goals.
“If he keeps his nose clean then he will come to Spain with us in a couple of weeks and living on top of each other 24/7 like that will allow us to learn a lot more about him.
“Everything is in place and we’ve also made sure he can’t use us to get fit then go and sign for somebody else at the end of the month.
“We have him here until the end of July and hopefully after that he will have done what we’ve asked for him to be given a year or two year deal.”