Reserves looking for a good finish
Report by Colin Robertson
Page last updated at 9:09PM GMT, Wednesday, 08 February 2012
The Reserve league is tight and all sides still have much to play for, from the top to the bottom. The first of three games remaining is scheduled for this coming Sunday, weather permitting.
Reserve Team Manager, Bill Long said:
“We wait and see for the Chelsea game because it depends what side they put out against us now that they are in Super League pre-season training - that will be the big key question for us. Hopefully we can pick up three points on Sunday and roll into the following game.”
The reserves played with a new system in their last match against West Ham and should have really sealed a convincing victory but suffered due to missed chances and lapses in concentration towards the end,
Long reflected, “To be fair, the system we played, four-five-one worked for us. The back four for me was really good especially second half - they kept us in the game and Kristina Manktelow up front gave West Ham a really busy time for the majority of the game, and for me it created lots and lots of chances but unfortunately we only converted one of those which was a great strike from Stef (Simmons).”
“Generally though, the way in which we went forward with Kristina up front was a pleasing sight and it showed that it works, so that is good.”
The last match saw the return of a familiar name to the team sheet, a player not so long ago (last season) who was often at the top level, Katie Flack.
Long commented: “Any senior players coming back into the squad always helps, Flacky has been in and around the club for a long time. She’s been club captain last season as well, so having her return to fitness and being involved around the club is a good thing and you know, eventually she will get her chance and she will lead herself into the game, and that will be good for Katie in her recovery.”
The reserves are largely a new side, a fact that Long is conscious of, “To be fair, we have got a young squad and when you look at the games we have won and the games we have drawn, yes it would be great to turn the draws into wins, of course it would, but I think - coming through this year was our inexperience.”
“Not shutting games off when we were in front, but again that comes with experience. When you look at the average age our squad it is about 18 or 19 and you know you are asking a lot of those players to close games off when you know they haven’t got the experience of doing that at senior level.”
“So all I will say is as long as we stay in the division this year and we move into next year, for a lot of those players being a year in this division and being in and around the first team as well will hold them in good stead for next year, and the next two or three years to come. We should be in a good position for the next two or three seasons at least.”
The reserves face remaining league fixtures home and away to bottom side Brighton and Sunday’s home match against Chelsea, to whom the side suffered their only convincing loss this term in terms of score line. Sunday will be a chance to put the record straight.