‘It’s a proper run-in, we’ve got to be ready’ – Marine boss Neil Young issues plea ahead of difficult run

Marine on the attack in the Northern Premier League West

Marine manager Neil Young has called for his players to be disciplined starting with Clitheroe on Saturday.

The Mariners were beaten in a fiery affair in the reverse fixture earlier in the season as two Marine players saw red with Clitheroee also seeing a man given his marching orders.

Marine remain one-point behind Workington with the league leaders now holding a game in hand as their clash with Bootle was postponed.

With the games ticking down, they put their disappointing draw against Runcorn Linnets behind them and returned to winning ways with a win over Trafford.

James Barrigan expertly found the corner before George Newell scored the second, his final strike before he was recalled by Southport.

Young was left pleased by the performance against Trafford but pinpointed some improvements despite the win.

“I thought we were very good. In terms of managing the game, we give the ball away too much. We tried to play which is good, they struggled with us particularly first half in terms of our movement,” he told Off The Park.

“But we set high standards and I thought the passing for the level were at was poor. Generally I thought we were very good and managed the game excellently.”

As well as the win, it saw goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant return to the starting line-up after he endured time out of the squad.

He was replaced by Aidan Dowling who had a number of outings during Passant’s absence.

But the Marine boss explained his reasoning for leaving the youngster out and was pleased with the part he played in their win.

“When we took him out, we explained why. Sometimes with young players, goalkeepers more so – when they [goalkeepers] make a mistake it usually ends up in the net.

“It’s about trying to make the right decision for the player, we kept him in for a long period, mistakes happen as a young goalkeeper.

“So then you’ve got to make the decision for them give them a break, don’t forget he’s been playing in goal since he joined us, he hardly missed any games.

“Sometimes you’ve got to take him out for his own good and make him have a break, first and foremost, mentally, physically, mentally more than anything and also I’m sure Bayleigh will tell you if you spoke to him, he missed a lot not playing.

“He’s come back in what more can he do? He’s kept the first clean sheet we’ve had in 12 or 13 games, generally he’s done very good and made a good save in the first half. 

“That was the thing with Clitheroe at their place, we had two players sent off and they had one late on. We got embroiled in a game we didn’t really need to, we need to keep our heads, we’ve got to be bigger than that against these teams but it’s a tough game.

“They’ve been on a sticky run but I’m sure they’ll want to come then Marine over at our place but we’ve got to be prepared for it. We’ve got injuries again but it is what it is, we’ve had injuries all season in key areas. 

“We’ve got to stay disciplined, stay focused on what your job is. Hopefully the referee will officiate the game properly and let it get out of hand which it did at their place, he didn’t get ahold of the game and it escalated  – that’s the players from both teams’ fault.

“Generally we’ve just got to keep our heads, play the way we can, the weather will be the weather we can’t change that, the pitch isn’t great.

“We’ve got to make sure we stay focused on what our job is, they’re all tough games [in this league] when you’re second in the league, 10 games left to go, it’s a proper run in and we’ve got to be ready for it.”

Tuesday saw Newell recalled by parent club Southport after two months on loan at the Marine Travel Arena.

After four goals in seven starts, the Marine boss was happy with the return from the forward who was looking to step up his bid for fitness after a horror injury.

Young admitted that there are plans in place to continue looking for additions: “Thought he done well, we had George [Newell] before, a couple of seasons ago. We know what we were getting with George when he was injured last time.

“The only thing with George, you’ve got to manage his minutes for him, like every footballer he wants to play as much as he can. What was it? Four goals in seven starts it’s a great return.

“He’s great to have around the place we wish him well on his return to Southport, bit early than expected but that’s what loans are for and they have loads of injuries at the minute, hopefully he’ll go back and get goals. 

“We’re always looking for players. Potentially. Centre forwards are always hard to find, particularly very good ones.

“We’ve got four strikers in Niall [Cummins], [Neil] Kengni, Lewis [Reilly] and Owen [Watkinson] they’ve got to be up there to bring them in or have experience like we had with George of scoring big goals in big games, making a difference, not a lot of that about. But we are looking.

“We’re always looking to improve the squad, not just up front all over.”

This week also brought a new addition in the former of left-footed defender Olly Muir.

Marine’s injury woes, especially in defence, has been no secret and Young offered a glimpse into the wound opening again.

“Amount of injuries we’ve had at centre half is frightening. You only have to look at last week, we had a left-back and a midfielder playing alongside Dean [Winnard],” he explained.

“[Mark] Howarth’s had to play a lot there who’s a midfielder. We’ve lost [Anthony] Miley, [David] Raven, [Anthony] Shaw, at this level there’s not loads and loads of centre-halves.

“Olly is someone who’s come highly recommended from people who’ve worked with him and who have played with him. He’s a left-footed centre-half, a good size, been in the pro-game and that’s our profile. More importantly, he wants to do well, he’s keen to do well.

“If you’ve got all them ingredients you’ll do well.”

[Featured image: Karl Dunkerley]

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