Neil Young weighs up Morpeth Town task as Marine rocked by injury problems

Neil Young Marine manager

Marine manager Neil Young is facing an injury crisis ahead of their trip to Morpeth Town as their casualty list tips into double figures.

Gainsborough Trinity ended their unbeaten run after Curtis Durose’s double in the latter stages of their midweek clash.

During the meeting, they were dealt two injury blows in quick succession as Alex Doyle and Lucas Weir were forced off.

Detailing their growing injury problems, Young told Off The Park: “Anthony Miley we know is long-term, Andy Hollins got injured in pre-season – that’s long-term.

“Joe Ferguson, we’ve had results of a scan on his back, they’re not good from an injury perspective, that’ll keep him out for a long time.

“Cal Harris has got a hamstring problem which we thought would’ve cleared up by now – it hasn’t. Kielen Adams, he’s fine, working hard in training, he’s not been involved in the squad.

“Mo Touray has been out for a long time, fitness-wise hasn’t done anything really, I think he’s played twice since August 5, we need to do a lot of things to get him up to speed to play regularly. Alex Doyle got an injury on Tuesday which will keep him out at the weekend.

“Mark Howarth has been out with an ankle injury, been out for three weeks, we expect another two. Lucas Weir, hopeful, that we may get him back for the weekend, looks like a bang on his knee and not a twist. We’re hopeful we may get him back.

“Freddie Price probably a Grade One hamstring, which will keep him out for at least two weeks. Josh Solomon-Davies felt his hamstring after Saturday’s game so we’ll take a look at him before Saturday, Jordan Lussey has a similar injury. Apart from that, we’re alright,” he quipped.

Price headed in his first goal for Marine during their FA Trophy win over Basford United as Hayden Campbell continued his fine form.

They had to ride their luck in the latter stages but saw out the tie and booked their place in the Second Round of FA Trophy where they will host National League North outfit, Scarborough Athletic.

“It’s a great result away from home against a team that is doing well, it wasn’t a great spectacle if I’m honest,” he admitted.

“At this stage of the season, with the amount of games, injuries – not just for us but opposition as well – to win away from home, it’s just good to win games of football.

“There’s obviously the financial element but for us, it’s about progression as a team and as a club. We’re playing a side in the league above who are playing well in the last two years in particular, it’s a great test and something to look forward to.

“After the cup runs we’ve had, there’s a lot of excitement and I expect Scarborough to be the same, they travel in big numbers, I’m sure they’ll enjoy a trip to Liverpool. Looking forward to it when it comes in a few weeks time.”

A win on Tuesday could’ve seen Marine rise as high as the Northern Premier League summit, however the defeat saw them slip to 10th.

The Mariners boss was left to rue mistakes in bringing an end to their unbeaten run. He said: “We didn’t take our chances when they presented themselves and we made two mistakes and give them two goals.

“I’ll give them their due, they’re very well organised, great structure, great defensive structure to build from but I keep saying it, all managers are saying it, the first goal is so important.

“We should’ve had a blatant penalty, we’ve had a goal chalked off when a free-kicks been given at the edge of the box when we think it’s a penalty.

“If the referee waits two seconds, like he did across the game for other issues which is good, he didn’t on this occasion, we would’ve scored. They’re the two disappointing things, but we’ve got to give credit to Gainsborough, the way they play, well coached, hard to break down and when the chances present themselves, you’ve got to take them and we didn’t do that.”

Kielen Adams was left out of the squad prompting questions on social media as to whether he could’ve provided a different outlet against Gainsborough. Young revealed that consistency was part of the reason for his exclusion.

He said: “I said before now, I signed Kielen Adams, I pushed for him because he’s got all the attributes to be a great centre-forward.

“I think he’s shown that against Atherton and Ashton in particular. It’s just getting that consistency, Kielen has all the tools to be a top player but it’s getting that consistency week-in, week-out.

“I don’t have that luxury of putting players in and leaving them in for seven or eight games, I simply don’t have that luxury, particularly with the players we’ve got.

“He’s a young lad, we’ve got to put that into perspective. He missed most of pre-season so we have to take that into consideration as well.

“I do know in terms of Kielen, he’s working hard away from the football club to get up to speed, you can’t fault the lads attitude and I’m sure in these going weeks, he’ll be pushing for the consistency to play consistently.”

Their attention turns to Morpeth Town this weekend as games won separates the two sides in the table with the North East side ahead of Marine.

Reflecting on what he hopes can be different between their previous game and their upcoming trip, he said: “We made two silly mistakes against Gainsborough, alleviate mistakes, I think that’s every managers wish at every level but mistakes happen.

“We’ve got a squad of good players and we have to take our opportunities when they come at the other end also. The key thing for me and I said it to the lads, I think the big thing that came out of Tuesday is how we lost our way, lost our discipline – in terms of our shape and structure.

“Once we conceded that goal, we became too rushed, we’ve got to stay calm in those moments and do what we’ve done. Don’t get me wrong, losing two midfield players within five or 10 minutes of each other was difficult but we have to stay calm, when you go a goal down you have to stay calm, keep doing the things we’ve been doing that gets us more prominent in the game – which we were.

“I just thought we lost our shape, structure, panicked, rushed ourselves and you can’t do that. 

“The mindset doesn’t change, we know it’s a difficult game, they’re a good side. We keep saying, it doesn’t matter who we play at this level, it’s going to be a difficult game.”

But injury concerns remain as Young faces an untimely selection headache, he continued: “The first thing for me is to see who is available, put a team together on the pitch that’s best for this game, unfortunately, I can’t do that. As I speak now, we have 13 players, two ‘keepers but we have some late fitness tests, hopefully I know one or two of them will definitely come through.

“Once I know a little bit more, I’ll know which way we’re going to go from the games perspective which will dictate the way we play.”

[Featured Image: Susan Nugent]

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