‘Make sure we’re hitting milestones’ – Neil Young details ambitions as Marine targets emerge

Marine celebrate a goal against Lancaster City

Marine manager Neil Young insists that their focus remains on the next game despite their win over Lancaster City taking them to within four points of the top of the table.

Sol Solomon bagged a double and Connor Evans rounded off his loan spell at Rossett Park with a late goal to secure the points.

They sit fourth ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures but it will be a free week for the Mariners after their clash against Guiseley was postponed due to widespread illness within the Lions’ squad.

Their win at Giant Axe extended their unbeaten league run to five matches, keeping four clean sheets during that time. But for the Marine boss, he remains focused on ticking off each milestone with mathematically securing league safety as one of the first objectives.

He told Off The Park: “It’s just the next game, before the start of the season, people were talking and we were one of the favourites to go down or to be down there fighting to stay in the league and we have to make sure we’re hitting those milestones.

“To definitely stay in the league, I think we need another 12 points then once we’ve achieved that, there will be another target which will be the top 10 then see where it takes us.”

Solomon’s brace took him to seven goals for the season in what was a difficult away trip for the Mariners. They went into the game on the back of a goalless draw with Hyde United, a result, Young felt was undeserved.

“I thought we were very good, always a tough place to go and they were on the back of four league victories or four victories on the bounce but we were very good in how we won the game, very good in our approach,” he added.

“Tactically, we worked on stopping their wingbacks, particularly the right one, the lads done it perfectly, particularly Lucas Weir, nullified them to very little. Apart from the goal, I don’t remember Bayleigh having a great deal to do and they’re a tough nut to crack at home but the lads were excellent on the day.

“It’s always good to get back to winning ways, we should’ve beat Hyde – had the ball in the back of the net twice – blatant penalty so we believe we should’ve beaten Hyde but the good thing is, mentality-wise, the lads have put that aside and gone on and won a very difficult game.”

Evans concluded his loan spell from Crewe Alexandra with a goal, his second for the club. His time in the Northern Premier League was used to help him get back up to speed following a long-term.

During the time of his signing, Marine had to fight off a number of clubs – some in the same division – to secure his services after he came with positive reports.

“We would’ve liked to have extended it but we had to be fair to Connor,” he added. “He was coming out to play regularly, we haven’t been able to give him that at this time. It would’ve been unfair, he’s a very good player but if I was being selfish I’d have loved to have kept him, he could start games but to bring him off the bench, with his running and finishing ability, it’s great.

“But we’ve also got to be fair, the kids going out on loan to play game so we’ve got to understand that and that was what was decided on the loan.

“We’re after two maybe three players in two positions but they’re the two hardest positions to recruit for,” he said on additions.

“We need to see what we can do to strengthen in those two areas, that work is ongoing and hopefully we’ll have something over the line in the next 10 days or before Christmas hopefully but we’ll have to wait and see.

“There’s a lot of things to happen for one to fall into place then we’re still pursuing the forward option that we’re trying to bring in.

“I don’t know if we’re becoming more feared, that’s more a question for the opposition. From my perspective, we’re getting closer to where I want to be or as a manager where I realistically want to be, we always want more all the time but we have to be realistic both from a player perspective in terms of what we can recruit and from a budgeting perspective.

“As I say, we’ve had our fair share of injuries, but the key is if we can secure these three players in these two positions barring anymore bad injuries, I think that will be good enough to take us forward for the rest of the season and see where we land.

“It’s key we improve and don’t just bring in bodies, as you can see, we’ve cut the squad, cut the squad, that squad cutting will go a little bit further in the next 10 days then we will look to add the bits that we need to take us forward.”

[Featured Image: Susan Nugent]

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