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Akrigg: 'We had to dig deep'

10 months ago By Callum Chadwick

Joint boss Steve Akrigg reflects on Widnes' 2-0 Macron Cup win at Ashton Athletic

Steve Akrigg hailed the endeavour of his players as Widnes booked a place in the last-four of the Macron Cup with a 2-0 win at Ashton Athletic.

Second half goals from Jack Banister and co-manager Kev Towey set up a date with Winsford United in the last four, with that tie to be settled over two legs.

Speaking after the game, joint boss Akrigg admitted that his side weren't at their best but expressed his delight at securing a semi-final spot.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the end result," Akrigg said.

"In the first half, I thought that we were pretty poor. We had chances but so did Ashton. Richie's had to make a good save to keep the scoreline at 0-0.

"We spoke at half-time about closing things up and concentrating on getting back to basics and I think that worked a treat in the second half.

"It's hard to come to places like this. Credit to Ashton, they worked hard and played some good football.

"Sometimes there are games where you underperform, and you have to dig in. We kept it tight at the back which gave us the chance of getting something and that's exactly what we did with Jack's goal and Kev's penalty."

With the final at Fleetwood Town's Highbury Stadium only two games away, Akrigg believes that his side have the ability to go on and win the competition.

He said: "There's no reason to fear any side left in the competition with the way we've been playing.

"We're on a 16-game unbeaten run in the league where we've beaten top of the league twice and beat the teams in and around us.

"It was only a few weeks ago that people weren't talking about us, and all of sudden, Widnes are now in with a shout."

With nine league games remaining, plus the two-legged semi-final to come, Akrigg insists that rotation of his squad will prove to be key during the run-in.

"I think if you look back at recent results, I don't think that we've named an unchanged side," Akrigg said.

"That's purely down to what we've got in the changing room. We've got a good, big squad and you need that at this level.

"Lads have work commitments, nagging injuries and we've got games Saturday and Monday in the same week.

"It's hard to ask lads to play twice in 48 hours. It's important that we keep lads as fit as possible moving forward, starting with Barnoldswick on Saturday."

Updated 20:50 - 28 Mar 2018 by Callum Chadwick

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