MANAGER'S NOTES | Abbey Hey, 24 February

MANAGER'S NOTES | Abbey Hey, 24 February

MANAGER'S NOTES | Abbey Hey, 24 February

These are manager Steve Settle's note from tonight's programme, available on the gate for £2.

Good afternoon all and welcome to Brookburn Road for this afternoons league fixture against our friends from across the city Abbey Hey. We hope everyone connected with them has an enjoyable afternoon and we wish them well for the remainder of the season. Gibbs has done a tremendous job over the past few seasons putting together competitive teams with limited resources and giving young players a platform to play. In that respect our clubs share a developmental philosophy. 

Whilst both our clubs are at the wrong end of the table I’m sure today’s game will be an entertaining one played in the right spirit. Abbey Hey will be looking to build on their excellent win against Burscough last weekend whilst we will be delighted at the prospect of a game! It’s certain that we will have to be at our best to get the right result! 

It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks for the boys. We were desperate to get the Hanley performance out of our system but have been defeated by the weather! Following a mini revival with good results against Winsford and Darwen we were disappointed to go down 6-2 at Hanley last time out. After falling 2 goals behind early and losing Ryan and Pottsy early we battled back into the game and going in at half-time 3-2 I was confident we could take the game to them. Unfortunately we weren’t good enough in possession and got punished by some clinical finishing. We missed Jack in midfield and tried putting square pegs in round holes which ultimately caught up with us as the game went on. I’m hopeful Jack, Tinks, Carlos and Scott Mason will be back for this which will help us get more quality into the team.

Following some of our poor defensive showings of late and with Ryan and Pottsy’s injuries in mind we have looked to strengthen defensively. We have signed Lanre Olapade on duel registration from Ashton United FC. Lanre is a central defender or Right Back and will bring some solidity to the back line. In addition to this I’m delighted to welcome back Matt Eckersley to West. Matt is arguably our best player of recent times and we’re delighted to get him back on board for the run in.

The next 6 games are big ones for the boys. If we can pick up 12 points from the next 6 we would be on 43 points from 31. That would provide us with a platform to look towards the top 10 as opposed to looking over our shoulder at the relegation zone. 

On the injury front Ryan picked up a hamstring strain against Hanley and might be out for a few weeks. Pottsy took a knock which we are hoping won’t be too serious and Aaron Ashley is targeting this week for his return. At this juncture I’d like to mention young James Hodges. James signed as cover for Aaron and Steve Dryden from Hyde United and whilst he was a little thrown in at the deep end. He has impressed everyone at the club with his maturity and talent. I know Hyde rate James highly and I would add my name to the list of admirers as if he continues to listen and learn, I’m sure he has an extremely bright future ahead of him. It’s been our pleasure to play a continued role in his development.

Today marks the latest of our community events with local craft beer bar The Beagle supporting the club and ‘Reach out to community’, a brilliant project supporting those less fortunate than ourselves, with a free beer when donations are made! Let’s hope we can raise some money for this excellent cause.

As always, thanks for the support and enjoy the game!

- Setts