By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner says he and his Woodhorn Lane outfit will not deviate from their style of football.
In his postmatch press conference after his outfit had lost their third league game of the season by a 2-0 scoreline at Bridlington on Saturday, Skinner commented: “It was obviously a disappointing result but there were lots of things to be pleased about. Max Emmerson pulled up in the warm up and I’m not looking for excuses but we are not quite getting the rub of the green at the moment in terms of being able to name a consistent team or a consistent squad. However, the way we play is the way I want us to play and it’s the way the players want to play. People might look at it and say ‘we are trying to over complicate it’ – but that’s my style and that’s the way I like to see the game played and only time will tell if its good enough. Yes there is an element of frustration because in terms of the way I want us to play reflects my philosophy on football; it suits the group of players we’ve got; its probably pole opposite to what you will get in this league from other teams – but I’ll stick to our beliefs; our process; and our principals – I keep asking the players to do the same – and the lads enjoy playing the way we want to play.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s game, Skinner said: “I thought some of our play in the first half was really good. We dominated possession again and they (Bridlington) didn’t offer much of a threat. However, I thought we started the second half really poorly and conceded two poor goals but for the last 25 minutes we were by far the best team and were on top. We created some good opportunities and got into some really good areas but weren’t really as clinical as we should be. In fear of sounding like a broken record, we need to learn and learn fast. We have spoken about it over the last seven to ten days and until we learn that this league is about – and quickly – we will have a fight on our hands. I’ve got no doubts that the group are more than capable of being successful in this league but until we learn about the defensive side of the game and what the opposition will bring and the players know what we need to do to do that, then it’ll be a long hard season.”
He went on: “Obviously we don’t enjoy losing games of football and I just think the sooner we learn to be more difficult to score against, the quicker we will start to go on a run of positive results. It’s just about keep working hard; sticking to the plan; sticking to the philosophy and sticking to the way we want to play. I believe in it; the players believe in it and the sooner we can eradicate the goals that we are conceding at present which are soft in truth, the sharper we will start picking up more positive results. But I’m not going to change who I am; I’m not going to change the way I want to play nor am I going to change my beliefs on football.”
Meanwhile as Skinner prepares his squad for the Isuzu FA Trophy match away to Dunston UTS on Saturday (September 9), he said Paul Van-Zandvliet whom he has signed from North Shields: “Paul should be available to come into contention for next weekend (v Dunston) – he’s 6’ 4” and knows what this league is all about. He’ll be able to offer us that more physical side of things so that will be a positive.”