‘A lot of work to do’ – Marine manager Neil Young dissatisfied despite going five unbeaten

Marine players celebrate vs Nantwich

Neil Young says Marine have ‘a lot of work to do’ before he is satisfied despite their last two wins making it five unbeaten.

The Mariners have tasted victory in their last two as they beat Radcliffe on penalties in the FA Trophy before Hayden Campbell once again inspired victory as they came from behind to beat Nantwich Town.

Charley Doyle scored their only goal against the Boro, last Saturday, but it wasn’t enough as the visitors bit back. Bayleigh Passant was the hero from 12 yards as he saved the ultimate spot-kick to send them into the next round.

Despite three points in the league and progression in the Trophy, Young is still far from satisfied with the displays he is seeing.

He told Off The Park: “On Saturday, I thought first-half we were very good, game should’ve been over with the chances we had but then we give away a very sloppy goal which let Radcliffe back in it, they’ve got good players.

“I thought second-half, we didn’t really get in the game much until the last 10 to 15 minutes, we didn’t take the bull by the horns – that’s my biggest concern, we’re not dominating games. When we are dominating, we’re not ruthless enough so it’s something we’ve got to put right but it’s not going to happen quickly.

“Going into Nantwich, I thought it was a very bitty game, wasn’t a great spectacle, went a goal behind – didn’t play great for the first half hour. But give players credit they stuck at it and came back from a goal down to win the game 2-1 then it’s a typical Northern Prem game, they threw a bit at us late on but we were resolute.

“Overall, two wins, through to the next round of the Trophy, three points in the league, you’ve got to be happy to a point but looking at the bigger picture, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Their last two saw first starts for their new striker arrivals Sol Solomon and Connor Evans who arrived from Jersey Bulls and Crewe Alexandra in recent weeks.

Solomon missed the midweek win through illness but was one of the standouts in the win over Radcliffe. Young added: “I thought Sol was excellent on Saturday, him and Mark Howarth were the outstanding players on Saturday. Unfortunately, Sol felt sick – he hadn’t been well for a couple of days – we put him out for the warm-up and he didn’t feel good enough to play so we took him out.

“Connor [Evans] came on on Saturday, worked hard, done well. [Against Nantwich] didn’t get enough support to him but again, he’s learning the level but he’s game, he wants to have a go, work hard so that ticks a lot of boxes, it’s about getting used to the level. Being honest, we’ve got to get players a lot closer to our forwards whoever they are.

“Hayden, from what I know, felt a twinge in his thigh so we’ll look at that but very doubtful for the weekend which is disappointing because the lads playing well,” the Marine boss said on the potential injury to Campbell who was forced off against the Dabbers.

“I think for the first time somewhere really believes in him like we do, he’s good in that environment and his performances are showing that. Hopefully that’ll continue, hopefully that set-back won’t be too long.”

The win saw Marine move up to 11th as they welcome Northern Premier League strugglers Whitby Town on Saturday. Just nine points separate both sides, but for the Mariners a win could catapult them to within touching distance of the playoff places.

Whitby sit at the foot of the table in the early stages of the league campaign but Young isn’t looking into that too much and believes his side won’t be complacent despite the league positions.

“There’s no easy game, I won’t be taking anything for granted with anyone,” he said. “I’ve played Whitby many times when they’ve been in and around the position they’re in now, more so away than home but still be a tough, tough game.

“We won’t be taking anything for granted because we played Nantwich who are down there in the bottom four and that game could’ve gone either way. No game can be taken for granted, we’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure we’re where I expect us to be with the players we’ve got and that process will continue. 

“I don’t think complacency is an issue for us, I think the players realise we’re not at the levels we need to be at for us to be complacent – if I’m being honest.

“We’ve got find some continuity. I’ll be honest, I hear people talking about Nottingham Forest bringing in players.

“We’ve had a high turnover of players ourselves and that takes a bit of time – not just the players but the ability, character, what they’re about, I’m still learning about them, who are our best pairings in certain areas.

“You can tell from team selection where I am happy and others still have a lot to prove, I’m not saying anything to you I haven’t said to them.

“We’ve got some very good players, good squad, short in one or two areas, we’ve had injuries in key areas but hopefully that’s relenting in the next three to four weeks so shirts are up for grabs and they’ve got to claim them.”

Young hinted at possible incomings and outgoings over the coming weeks as Marine embark on a busy period in the league and cup.

But he reiterated that despite their return to winning ways, there are still levels to be reached by his squad.

He added: “I think over the next four weeks, we get lads back fit and the squad fills out, you’ll probably see some outgoings and incomings. That will be the nature of where we’re at, I’ve told the lads in no uncertain terms of where we’re at.

“I’ve never been a manager – even when it’s gone mad for me who’s there just to make numbers. We’ve got to compete, compete in every game and we’ve got to be better, we will be. But of all the reasons I’ve just outlined, how many new players etc, it’s going to take a bit of time.”

[Featured Image: Susan Nugent]

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