“We aren’t there yet but it feels like we are returning to our best!”
Paul Phillips, Joint-Manager.
Robin’s joint-manager has set the standards high for the team, stating 45 points from a possible 54 could win his side the league. The play-off shake up is the tightest it has been for years in the division. Ashton United sit a point inside the top five, but only four points off second with games in hand a plenty.
Phillo was happy to beat a promotion rival in Workington but knows there is still room for improvement by the team; “I was happy to win the game against Workington but not particularly impressed with aspects of the performance. No disrespect to Workington but I think the 3-2 score line flattered them."
"Upfront we were outstanding. On a bad pitch we looked really sharp up top and that showed with the three goals. In defence though individual errors affected us and I let the team know this after the game in the dressing room.”
The Reds from Cumbria possessed the second strongest back four in the league before last weekend’s game and it is testament to the management team and coaches at Hurst Cross, in the way the Robins broke through their back four at a canter as Phillo continued by saying;
“Workington have one of the best defences in the league and its great credit to our coaches that we breached their back four with relative ease. We are working harder on passing and moving and quick attacking more than ever before in training. I couldn’t believe their goalkeeper didn’t win man of the match to be honest!”
Last season to finish 5th, Ashton amassed 80 points. This year with nearly half the season to go the Robins have 50 points already and our joint-manager has claimed until it’s mathematically impossible to win the league he won’t stop; “I’ve said to the team, we are looking to win at least 15 of our final 18 matches. We aren’t there yet, but it feels like we are returning to our best. If we pick up wins we’ll be there or thereabouts and until it’s mathematically impossible for us not to win the league we will keep giving our all to finish first.”
Phillo finished by praising the strength of his sides bench, which last weekend included new signings Leadbetter and Yarwood, as well as seasoned performers Hill, Rick and Haslam. Believing it is invaluable to have ‘game changers’ in the squad; “For the first time this season our bench is strong and we have real game changers who can come on and help the side. Martin Hill came on and nearly scored against Workington and Kev Leadbetter was a substitute and set up our third goal by taking the corner. Having options to come off the bench, with half an hour to go, and win us the game is invaluable.”