‘I’m not being funny’ – Neil Young vents transfer frustration as Marine prepare for Ashton United

Marine manager Neil Young during NPL clash

Marine manager Neil Young has once again admitted his frustration that they keep hitting roadblocks in their attempts to bolster the squad.

Sol Solomon’s goal proved to be the difference in midweek as they ended their disappointing run of form.

The win over Stafford Rangers was their first since the beginning of December which kept the pressure on the playoff hopefuls ahead of them.

A number of fixtures have been postponed which will likely see the Mariners embark on midweek ventures to claim three points.

“I think it’s been a bit stop-start for everybody,” Young told Off The Park describing his thoughts on the enforced break.

“I think since Marske, we’ve had indifferent form, I put that down to the amount of changes we’ve had to make, we don’t have the biggest squad because of the amount of long-term injuries we’ve got.

“It’s indifferent but last night we were able to put our normal back four together which has served us through the season and I think if we can get our best defensive unit on the pitch then we’ve always got a chance in games, we do need to strengthen at the top of the pitch which we’ve been trying to do for a number of weeks now, unsuccessfully.

“It’s been a difficult month, stop-start but it’s been like that for most teams.”

The second-half strike from the former Jersey Bulls forward took him to double figures in his first campaign with the Crosby outfit.

Although the manner of the win didn’t matter to the Marine boss, although there were some aspects of the Tuesday night meeting that he wasn’t pleased with.

He added: “If someone gives me 1-0 wins I take them all day, the type of manager I’ve been for a long time.

“I don’t like basketball games, end-to-end, that’s my type of game where we stay in the game, tight, limit them to very little – although Bayleigh Passant made a fantastic save early in the game. Stay in the game then the difference was an unbelievable bit of quality from Sol Solomon, it’s a fantastic finish.

“That’s more to my liking from a coaching perspective, I’m not one of them open, you attack us we’ll attack you, they were direct and have a long-throw which cause teams problems, they were direct and we dealt with it really well. We scored a really good goal ourselves.”

One door opened in the arrival of Craig Curran from Airbus but another closed as Hayden Campbell signed for Curzon Ashton.

Young hasn’t shirked away from his intent to help bolster the squad and has been vocal in their efforts to make an addition in recent months.

But with the growing injury list and the threat of it mount constantly looming, there is always an extra sense of determination to improve with depth.

He said: “I’m not being funny and I’m not exaggerating when I say this, we must’ve spoken to every club you can speak to in the North West about players and further afield.

“We’ve probably spoken to 20 clubs or players or agents about players, it’s just a very hard market at the moment, we’ve made bids for players unsuccessfully, not just about the player but clubs not wanting to do business, we are active, it’s very frustrating.

“We’ve got Freddie Price, Jack Dunn, Anthony Miley, Andy Hollins, Joe Ferguson, all these lads would get in any team in the league, we’ve got them lads missing, we can’t carry much more, we’re trying to strengthen.

“The two key areas for me are centre-back and at least one maybe two forward players to be affective. We’re trying to do that from places you wouldn’t believe, it shows how tough the market is when we brought Sol in from Jersey that’s where we landed. Thankfully, that deal was able to be done and that kid is flying.”

This weekend they welcome Ashton United to the Marine Travel Arena. Former striker Kielen Adams will return to the club he was signed from but it is a new-look side visiting Young’s men.

Steve Cunningham replaced Michael Clegg in the dugout for the Robins and already the Marine boss has noted their quality.

And he expects a response following their midweek home defeat to Marske United.

“They’ve massively changed, I was looking when I got in late last night (Tuesday) they had a surprising result, Marske got a fantastic result but they beat Rylands, they’ve really strengthened with good, quality players,” he said.

“Gilchrist, he’s a goalscorer, Dale Whitham has gone there, there’s players who have gone there who I didn’t realise had gone there, they’ve got a strong group of players now, a manager looking to impress.

“After their defeat, they’re going to be coming here looking for a win, the key thing for me we defend how we did last night. Hopefully, fingers crossed that we may be able to get one player, two players over the line before the weekend but I’ve been saying that for three or four weeks and nothing’s landed.

“The key thing is they have to improve us, no point in adding bodies, we’ve got bodies but we’ve got a lot of midfield players. It was glaring last night, in forward areas, Mo and Craig Curran had to come off and we didn’t have any forward options, we then have to go five across midfield and leave Sol up top.

“We didn’t have anything, Sol was running on his own, we got stuck in for the last eight to 10 minutes, we need that option to be able to get out and that only happens with a couple of players. We’re working hard on that, we’ll continue to do so for as long as it takes.”

[Featured Image: Susan Nugent]

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