Manager Danny Johnson was bitterly disappointed with his team’s failure to take their opportunities against Chasetown on Saturday but was very pleased with the overall performance of his team. The gaffer welcomed back Craig Robinson to the starting eleven and praised his Assistant Managers’ contribution to the team.
‘Craig gives us that little bit extra, just having him around the place for the past three or four weeks has given everyone a lift’ expressed the manager. ‘Just like Ged Murphy he has a great desire to win and hates losing football matches which is something we are desperately short of. Robbo has taken responsibility for the goal we conceded, he didn’t look to point the finger or blame anyone else. Robbo just said to me that the goal was his fault and he should have done better. That’s exactly what we need, people taking responsibility and improving from their mistakes. That was his first game for around 8 weeks and he hasn’t played a full 90 minutes since the cup final last season so I think I can forgive him!’
‘Fingers crossed we can now stay relatively injury free and keep the likes of Craig, George (Melling), Alex (Frost) and Ged (Murphy) on the pitch. Those type of players give players like Ben Smith and Mark Peers the chance to express themselves which I felt they both did on Saturday. Mark Peers was exceptional and I think he will be a great player for us. The way he picks the ball up and runs at players is frightening, he just seems to ghost past the opposition like they’re not there, he was a pleasure to watch on Saturday. The chances we missed is a major cause for concern though. Jon Bathurst had two unbelievable opportunities in the first half and Aaron Burns, Matty Kosylo and Chris Amadi also had gilt edge opportunities to score. Goals change games and we had enough chances to change the game on Saturday, we should have taken something especially after the way we played and applied ourselves. The performance level was high both in and out of possession, especially throughout the second half. We had a great work ethic and we stopped Chasetown from getting into the game. Terry (Smith) had very little to do once again so it shows we are moving in the right direction.’
‘No team in this league has a divine right to win football matches. You have to earn the right to win but you don’t always get what you deserve. I have no doubt that we should have got something on Saturday but we now have to continually earn the right to win and sustain that level of performance over the coming weeks and months. If we can do that then we will definitely win more than we lose. That’s the challenge now and I will be looking for my players to rise to it. I have been very busy over the last few weeks, possibly busier than I have ever been trying to add some extra quality to the squad but unfortunately I have been unsuccessful. The main reason is finance and the type of money other clubs are throwing at players. Three of the players I have spoken to in the last 7/10 days have been offered or are already picking up at least double what I can offer. That is what we are up against but something I have got used to and just need to deal with. However, I am close to making two new signings that I feel will add something extra to the squad and all being well those two signings will be available for the game at home to Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday.’
The manager also confirmed that Liam Dawson has been allowed to leave the club and he wished the left hand sided player all the very best for the future. Danny explained ‘Liam hasn’t reached the standards I would have expected from a player who has been a professional footballer. There is no doubt in his ability, no doubt whatsoever. He is a talented player with a super left foot but I didn’t manage to get the best out of him on a consistent basis. To be fair to the lad he has played out of position at left back and he has done a really good job for us over the last couple of years. I just felt that it was the right time for him to experience a new challenge and I sincerely wish him all the very best for the future.’