SIMON MARTIN'S record of six goals in six pre-season games, five more than any of his team-mates, is both good and bad news for St Albans City FC.

While it confirms Martin's form, that no-one else has got more than one goal suggests that he, without sufficient support from his current strike partners, might be asked to do too much for the cause.

"Gary (Sippetts) and Craig (Mackail-Smith) don't need to worry, but the step up is still something they have to aspire to," said co-manager Gary Roberts.

Enter Miquel De Souza. The 32-year-old has been the subject of one six-figure and two five-figure transfer fees in a career that has included stops at Charlton Athletic, Birmingham City and Peterborough United.

He played alongside Martin in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Stotfold, and is expected to again when City line-up against Ware in the Herts Charity Cup on Saturday.

"On Saturday, Simon looked the happiest he has done all pre-season. It's been evident we've not really been firing yet, and we do need to add something up front," Roberts said.

Should De Souza sign, he would be the target man City crave, a barrier between Martin and the opposition's defenders, and could, believes Roberts, improve the team by ten to 15 per cent.

He will be joined on Saturday by John Challinor, who is back from America and will slot into central midfield alongside Steve Castle.

The Saints are also in discussions with two wide midfielders, with a view to giving one or both a trial game against Ware, but one player who will not play is Derek Brown, who has suffered a knee injury which could see him miss the beginning of the season.

"We're not in the same position as we were last season," Roberts said. "Now we have six resolute defenders who can play all across the back-line. Once we get them to gell, I think we'll have a very resolute defence."

In this department, Leon Townley has completed his release from Aldershot Town and is free to sign at Clarence Park, while James Ayres has also been invited to join on a more permanant basis.