Unpredictable Widnes next up for ‘Castle
After the disappointment of exiting at the earliest stage in the FA Trophy last weekend at Belper Town, we return to league action on Saturday with a tough trip to Widnes.
It’s true to say that we had some really tough draws in the cups, being drawn away in every tie and facing difficultopponents all the way through, but the return to league action is what we will be judged on by season’s end.
So, in many ways, the hard work starts here. And hard work is exactly what it will be. Widnes are a team that – despite losing at home to Hanley last night – is on an upward curve.
When we beat them 3-1 in the league in mid-January they looked doomed. They were cast adrift from the pack at the bottom of the league at that point and looked near certainties to drop down to the fifth tier of non-league football.
A remarkable sequence of results where they lost only four of their last 15 league games saw them comfortably stay up and that resurgence has continued into this season as they currently sit just outside the play-off places in the league tablehaving won three and lost three of their opening six games.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game a day after having seen our opponents in action against our local rivals Hanley, our assistant manager Paul McKiernan was in good spirits.
“We’re still in a transitional period in our playing style and we’re learning lessons all the time. We’re not far off in the league and Widnes will be a good test for us. It’s just not gone for us in the cups, I’d have loved it if we’d have got through a couple more rounds, but it wasn’t to be.
“Having said that, it’s the league that’s the most important thing and our ambitions are to improve significantly on previous seasons and Paul, myself and the coaching team arevery confident we’ll do that.”
Helping us to achieve that ambition will be another new signing Isaac Graham – Isaac is a central midfielder who joins us from Wythenshawe Amateurs and goes into the match day squad for the trip to Widnes. The gaffer introduced Isaac to the squad before training tonight:
In other team news, our vice-captain Kyle Stubbs is still nursing a sore hip but is expected to play and having come through a period where we were struggling with a few injuries, we’re starting to see some space in the treatmentroom, so our hard-working physio Summer is getting a slight breather too!
Come on ‘Castle!