‘It’s very early days’ – Runcorn Linnets manager Dave Wild eyes improvement after mixed start

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Runcorn Linnets manager Dave Wild has reflected on their Northern Premier League start as they kick-off their FA Cup campaign against Trafford FC.

It was a winning start to the campaign as they overcome rivals Widnes 3-1. However, they couldn’t make it back-to-back wins on Tuesday as they were edged out away at Mossley.

This weekend, they travel to Trafford for their first outing in the FA Cup. The hosts booked the clash against Linnets after their 6-0 rout over AFC Liverpool in the previous round.

Reflecting on their opening two league games, the Runcorn Linnets boss told Off The Park: “I was pleased with the result and second-half performance at Widnes.

“I thought we were probably enough value to win that one. Like you’d expect from what we’re trying build and of any team of mine, we looked solid in the sort of defensive line but midfield and the way we press and work hard, the minimum requirement for our squad and I thought we showed that against Mossley.

“I don’t think we did enough to win the Mossley game but we certainly didn’t deserve to lose it. People saying it’s a bit of a dubious decision, it is a handball but I’m just not sure there’s enough distance to get out the way of it but he knows he can’t come out in the body shape he did.

“But I think we had a pretty fair penalty call given against us in the first-half. I’m pleased and frustrated because ultimately, I can’t pull my face in the sense we’re off the board and we got a win out of two.

“We targeted four points from the first two games and we were six minutes and a referee decision from getting the target we aim for – anyone who knows, knows that Mossley is a difficult place on a Tuesday night.

“I’m okay with it, there’s a lot of improvement areas that we’re working on on the training pitch but it’s very early days at the end of the day.

“It’s not that I’ve been pleased, I’m really, really becoming frustrated how toothless we look up front and that’s not a dig at our attacking players or strikers specifically,” Wild continued after comparing and contrasting the two performances.

“We’re just not creating enough and we’ve got that base in place in terms of work ethic and defensive structure which is something we’ve worked hard on in the summer.

“Our next focus is we’ve got to score more goals, we’ve got to create more goals and we’ve got to start creating opportunities that take  a bit of pressure of our backline.

“I sound like a broken record because these are the things we were saying at Matlock (Town) but ultimately that’s down to me to fix.

“There’s lots and lots of positives in terms of defensive structure and I’m not going into any games thinking no one will smash us, I’m not concerned about that in any way but if we don’t up our game at the other end of the pitch then we’re going to fall by the wayside in too many games for me.”

Looking ahead to their FA Cup clash with Trafford, Wild said: “It’s a really tough tie, I know DC (Danny Caldecott) well, he’s a good manager, spent a lot of time as a number two as I have.

“He’s taken his opportunities as a manager and they’ve started the season brightly, they’ve got a really good, young core of players that I know from my time at Maine Road and the addition of Tom Bentham gives them another dimension.

“They’ll be a really, really tough challenge. At the end of the day, every games tough and they’re even tougher at this stage of the season, for the first six or seven games anything can happen. I don’t think anyone expected Newcastle Town to beat Hanley, I don’t think many teams expected some of the results certain teams ways and until that settles, anyone can beat anyone.

“We’ve got a plan in place, we’ve worked on what we’re going to do to try and execute our gameplan. No games easy and it’s an extremely tough draw.”

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