‘We’ve made numerous attempts’ – Marine manager Neil Young expresses frustration as attacking issue continues

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Marine manager Neil Young has reaffirmed his frustration as their search for additions continues as they face Ashton United this weekend.

The Mariners were knocked out of the FA Cup last weekend after conceding a late goal against Stocksbridge Park Steels which denied Marine a replay after Jack Dunn equalised.

Their exit marked a second defeat in two games as they were edged out by Radcliffe in the league after they knocked out the Boro.

Speaking on the defeat, Young told Off The Park: “Below-par performance particularly from set-pieces, defensive set-pieces, game wasn’t great, pitch wasn’t great but in general, we didn’t do our job on set-pieces and because of that we’re out the competition.

“It was a frustrating afternoon because we told the lads on Thursday, we showed them the strengths of Stocksbridge and how they gone through Atherton which was on set-pieces and we didn’t take that on board.

“We had chances on board, not great chances, but we had chances and once it went back to 1-1 we should be having a replay here on Tuesday – that’s not good enough we couldn’t defend a free-kick.”

Injuries have continued to plague those at Rossett Park, contributing to their disjointed performances on the pitch.

The Marine boss hasn’t shied away from their attacking issues as they look to add reinforcements at the top end of the pitch as Mo Touray steps up his bid for fitness following an ankle injury – leaving Kielen Adams as the only available recognised forward.

He added: “It’s been a bit hit and miss but that’s been dictated because of injuries and we’re struggling at the top end of the pitch in terms of availability.

“Jack Dunn scored again, done well but he’s got a knock, goals change games, we had chances the other day, we didn’t take them, that takes pressure from people. When you’re not winning football matches, you lose confidence as well, it’s no secret we’re trying to bring in additions at the top end of the pitch, in a week’s time that could change but I’ve been saying that for a few weeks.

“People think it’s a lot easier to get players in the football club, it’s quite difficult, trying to get deals done has become more and more difficult but we’ll keep trying and hopefully by the FC United game, I’d like to think we’d have at least one in the building.”

Young moved to reassure supporters that they aren’t downplaying the issue and shed light as to why the club have encountered trouble welcoming new arrivals up front.

“The budgets there, we can assure fans that there is money in the playing budget, there’s money to spend to bring players in,” he continued. “It’s not a financial issue, a few people think we might not be giving the money – the money’s there.

“We’ve made numerous attempts to sign players, for one reason or another it’s not happened. It’s not really been down to money, if I’m honest, it’s down to the players; where they want to go, what their plan is for themselves and sometimes it’s what the club want who you’re buying from want, as some clubs don’t want to sell to clubs in the same division.”

Marine travel to Ashton United this weekend as they look to return to winning ways at Michael Clegg’s sides expense.

Callum Saunders is among the dangermen at Ashton, scoring twice in his last outing as they ran out 4-0 winners against Belper Town.

For Young, the priority is claiming the three points, he continued: “It’s important we’ve got to get three points, we need to get three points as soon as we can. It’s not panic stations or anything, every time we’ve played in the league we’ve done well in the main.

“We’ve got to score goals, take chances, goals change games, goals change confidence, winning football matches changes confidence, we’re trying all we can morning, noon and night – it’s a cliche but it’s true – to bring somebody in the football club to score goals.

“Unfortunately, at the minute it’s very very difficult to do.”

Looking ahead to their trip to Ashton this weekend, he said: “For the first time in a long time, we’ve had a week where we’ve had no midweek game – I’d of liked to have had one because it would’ve been a replay – but wasn’t to be.

“Struggling with injuries even to a point where we’ve got lads we thought we’d have back, struggling with injuries. There’s lads tonight trained, not trained, key players for the team, we have to have a look come Saturday, at this moment in time we’re the walking wounded in all areas of the pitch but it’s about making sure we’re right. 

“I said on Saturday, I can only worry about the players available to me, they’re the ones working hard to get a result on Saturday.

“Cleggy’s got a good team, he knows the score. He’s got a lot of experience at this level and they’ve had a very good start, they’re hard to break down like all of Michael’s teams, they work their socks off.

“We’ve got to find a way against them, they’re doing really well in the league, they’ve had a really good run. I see a lot of them in us, in terms of the way they play, what they are in this league and they’ve got Callum Saunders scoring goals, with one or two chipping in, at the moment we haven’t got that.

“Once we get that, build, build a bit of confidence, keep the majority fit I think we’ll be fine.”

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