10 Mar 2020 in Post Match Interview
SKINNER: “I WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPIER IF WE HAD PINCHED ALL THREE POINTS”
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner – delighted after his side had secured a goalless draw with North Shields at the Daren Persson Stadium on Saturday – admitted that he would have been even happier if they had ‘pinched’ a victory!
The boss said afterwards: “Overall was I happy with a point? I would probably have taken one before the game but being greedy, I would have been happier if we had pinched all three although North Shields manager Marc Nash will probably say the same about his side. I just thought we had some really good chances and I was really happy with another clean sheet. Conditions looked as if they were going to be good - but once the game got going, you could see it was going to be tricky. The winds got stronger as the match progressed and both teams could maybes have played with a little bit more quality with passes going astray and player’s touch running away from them. It looked like a game where one goal might settle it throughout the course of the game and on chances we probably had equally as many as North Shields.”
He continued: “First half I just wanted us to move the ball a bit quicker and try and utilise the wide areas because they (North Shields) played with basically four central midfielders so we looked to try and create two versus one situations in a wide area - and I thought we could have done that a little bit better. That said, our goalkeeper Adam McHugh has made a great low save from Gary Ormston’s header from a corner. Second half North Shields have had the wind on their backs and they came at us a little bit and at times we struggled to get out. On the break we looked dangerous and probably had a couple of really good chances whilst I also thought we had a good shout for a penalty. Brandon Slater - who is desperate for a goal - hit the outside of the post and had another chance where he wanted an extra touch and the ball got charged down.”
He went on: “We challenged the players a few weeks ago to really start and work hard on a shape and a way we want to play - and I think we are starting to see the fruits of that. I take a lot of the responsibility for our form early in the season because I wanted us to play a certain way. We went toe to toe with teams but were on the wrong end of a 4-3 or 3-2 scoreline and whilst it may have been entertaining for people to watch, we were losing games of football and as the season goes on you need to take stock of where you are. It’s about getting the balance right and we are working really hard on a shape when we haven’t got the ball which is showing with the clean sheets but the downside is that it becomes a little bit more difficult when you do get the ball to open up quickly and create chances and that’s probably why in the past few weeks we have had a few nil-nil draws at West Auckland, Newcastle Benfield and here today at North Shields. However, we continued to put points on the board and that’s what it’s all about because we want to finish as high up the table as we can.”
He concluded: “We will look forward to a game against Thornaby at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday (March 14) because we have been good at home over the last few weeks and we will go into the clash again hoping to get three points. A couple of lads who didn’t get into the squad today may have a chance to stake a claim and I think we will add to the squad this week with one new signing.”