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Crainey: "It was a tough test against a decent physical side."

31 July 2019

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Development Squad coach Stephen Crainey thought Ashton United was a ‘tough test’ but was happy with the overall performance.

Town’s Development Squad traveled down to Hurst Cross to continue their pre-season preparations on Tuesday night and came away 1-0 winners over Ashton United.

The side created chances throughout, but it was forward Dan Mooney who broke the deadlock early on in the second half, after a brilliant through ball from midfielder Ged Garner.

Crainey spoke after the game and here are some of his best quotes…

On his side’s display at Hurst Cross…

“It was a tough test against a decent physical side like Ashton. I thought that in the first half, we were a bit sloppy and could have moved the ball about a bit quicker. We did some good bits at the same time, but I thought at the start of the second half, we upped the tempo and got a lot of joy. Midway through the second half, we could have managed the game a little better, play long and try to force things. I said to the lads after the game, sometimes in football, it’s taking the sting out of the game and about keeping the ball. As long as they learn from that and take that moving forward, I’ll be happy.

“There were some pleasing aspects tonight - you want to improve for the next game, and the game after that. Sometimes you take a step back, but you just have to go again – that’s football. You’re not going to a 90-minute complete performance but, that’s what we are looking towards, and that’s what we want.”

On Dan Mooney’s performance…

“Dan also hit the crossbar in the first half after cutting in from the right-hand side and was unlucky not to score. He persevered, and Ged [Garner] played him through with a nice pass and showed good composure in front of the goalkeeper. He is looking sharp at the moment, he’s in a good place and he just needs to keep it going and get into the manager’s thoughts.”

On pushing his players towards the first team…

“We want to push as many players as we can into that first team squad but it’s up to the lads, and myself, in training to show the manager what they can do. The gaffer was here tonight, he’s always watching games, watching videos and always asking me who’s doing well so the lads need to be on it on a daily basis, not just in training but matches as well. If you perform well in training, you will naturally take those performances into games.”

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