05 Sep 2018 in Post Match Interview
BOWEY: “WE FACE RELEGATION BATTLE IF THINGS DON’T PICK UP”
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Steve Bowey has issued a no-nonsense directive to his playing staff: “Improve or we face a relegation battle.” Bowey’s warning came on Saturday following his sides 3-1 defeat against Sunderland RCA who played for 75 minutes with only ten men.
Bowey said: “RCA finished in the top five last season and they are a very good side and that is where I want us to be. But every time I have played against Ashington in the past they have been a hard working and dogged side. At this moment in time we are a bit of a soft touch and we need to change that – and quickly – otherwise things will develop into a relegation battle and that’s the truth of the matter. Yes its early doors in the campaign - but we need to roll our sleeves up. Football is all about today and not tomorrow and we need to start picking points up and get the feel-good factor back.”
He continued: “Today we started the game quite brightly and could have gone 1-0 up then with their first attack (RCA) they got a set play and we have conceded. From there on, it’s always an uphill battle. At the end of the day, lads are supposed to do their jobs and it is not happening at the minute and with personnel in and out, we cannot get a settled team. I thought we controlled good chunks of the first half and got into some good areas without really creating anything and it was the lack of quality in the final third which let us down. After they had a man sent off, we have got to take the initiative - and the game - to them but it didn’t happen. Second half, RCA hit the channels and with three or four passes they got in and scored goals - whereas we wanted to play that sixth and seventh pass. Football is all about creating and we didn’t create enough to take anything from it and deservedly lost against a better organised and a more solid outfit.”
He continued: “The two goals in quick succession in the second half killed the contest off. They (RCA) had the momentum and just sat in and although we scored right at the death the only other opportunity we had was in the third minute. Overall we didn’t do things in both boxes defensively and attacking. We had six big players missing who would have started which was a key factor and we missed the goal threat from Gerard Richardson – one of the absentees - today.”