‘We’re going to need them’ – Neil Young sends simple Marine message ahead of Worksop Town showdown

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Neil Young has hailed the impact of Marine’s new arrivals – has called on supporters to ‘bring the hostility’ in their playoff showdown with Worksop Town.

The Mariners have netted 14 goals in their last three Northern Premier League games, conceding just twice, after wins over Stafford Rangers, Bradford (Park Avenue) and Bamber Bridge.

Their upturn in form has catapulted them into third to within two points of second-placed Warrington Rylands and 12 points behind league leaders Radcliffe. The playoff race is heating up with the likes of Ashton United, Whitby Town, Macclesfield and Guiseley hunting down the pack.

Worksop Town are a point behind Marine going into Saturday’s encounter, with a game in hand. Young’s side came out on top of the Tigers in the reverse fixture and he is expecting an equally challenging encounter.

“Worksop are probably the toughest and most experienced teams in the league, I’d say,” he began speaking to Off The Park. 

“We had a good win there when Felix Goddard had an unbelievable game, we’re capable, they’re a point behind us with a game in hand. 

“Jordan Burrow up front is very good, poses a different threat to our last three games, we’re confident after our last three, we’re playing well, Sol Solomon got 45 minutes on Saturday, we’ve brought Scott Butler in and I’m hoping to have one or two more players before then to strengthen us. 

“We’ve not had luck with injuries and we’re trying to back that up with quality players, we were trying to add to the squad anyway and we’re going to keep trying because of the amount of players we’re losing.”

Midfielder Liam Nolan joined the list of casualties after suffering a bad gash on his foot during last weekend’s 7-1 win over Bamber Bridge, there is hope, Off The Park understands, that he won’t be out too long. There is also a possibility of a return for Lewis Earl, after his double arm break, within the next four to six weeks, but Jordan Lussey will miss the remainder of the season after a partial dislocation of his ankle and rupture of ankle ligaments. 

Progression on and off the pitch continues at the Marine Travel Arena, despite their Christmas blip. The new arrivals have had an impact which has coincided with their positive run of results.

With the business end of the season now underway, each game comes with an added importance and Young has called on fans to make the difference for their showdown with Craig Parry’s side. 

“It’ll be a really good game, they’re a very good side and one of the top four teams we’ve played this season,” he said. 

“They’ve got some exciting wide players, very experienced and we’re a little bit different, we’re playing well, getting after teams, getting midfielders in the box in White, Gregson and Robinson – they’re putting their foot on the gas and showing what good players they are.

“Having Sol coming back to fitness, Fin is getting up to speed fitness-wise and Bobby is doing well. 

“The big thing for me now and for the rest of the season at home, we’re going to need our supporters, that’s my call for this weekend. 

“We’re going to need them to make it as loud and as hostile as possible and show the new and existing Marine players how loud they can make the ground. Our support on Saturday was amazing, our goals help that but we’re going to need that more so this weekend.”

Bobby Grant signed for Marine at the beginning of January, joining the influx of arrivals in Freddie Sass and Matty Waters. Grant, who has played in the Football League with the likes of Accrington Stanley, Scunthorpe United and Rochdale, has scored five goals in his first three appearances – including a hat-trick in the Bamber Bridge.

Young has reaffirmed that playoffs remain the minimum ambition but since taking charge, there has been gradual growth in Crosby.

He added: “We’ve said all along that we wasn’t playing too bad, we were working hard in the main, we had two blips in Basford and Hyde. A lot of the issues were at the top of the pitch and we managed to bring Bobby (Grant) in which is exactly something I thought we would get with an experienced striker. 

“You can see the difference in the attitude and what he brings to the rest of the team, the confidence, we’ve now got midfielders getting higher up the pitch and in the box – creating more opportunities. In the last four games, Bobby has only been involved in three, with the Senior Cup we’ve scored 17 goals in four games, we’ve scored more goals than we did last season in the league – in 16 games less – so, my remit always will be we keep improving year-on-year. 

“It’s not going to be a quick fix, likewise we want to keep improving. Since COVID, having my first full season, we have improved year-on-year. Our ambition has always been the same and that’s to reach the playoffs. We finished ninth last year, tailed off after Christmas, we spoke about the amount of injuries – we have them again – but what we have been allowed to do this year is recruiting and we’re recruiting quality. 

“You only have to look at our last three signings Bobby, Freddie Sass and Matty Waters, they’re two lads who have played Conference North and Bobby has played Football League, I wouldn’t have been able to make those signings two or three years ago. 

“That’s what I keep trying to explain, if there are big, big players out there, it’s pointless going in the scuffle for them. We have to pick our targets specifically, once we have one or two, we’ll be able to bring the Bobby’s, the Matty Waters’ as people look at what we’re doing well and attract others over a longer period.”

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