‘These are games we have to win’ – Runcorn Linnets boss Dave Wild warns against Newcastle Town complacency

Runcorn Linnets manager Dave Wild

Runcorn Linnets manager Dave Wild has heaped importance on their upcoming clash with Newcastle Town.

Linnets extended their winning run to six games as they push closer to league leaders Macclesfield, sitting within three points of the Silkmen.

Their impressive run continued with a win over Leek Town before their goals from Ally Brown and Sam Heathcote helped them into second-place after brushing past Trafford.

He told Off The Park: “Newcastle are one of the best teams we’ve faced this season, when we went away they hadn’t lost, we were the first team to inflict defeat on them and caused us problems, they’re a good possession-based side, the manager is very experienced, he knows how the league works, it’s going to be a difficult game.

“We’re doing well at the minute so people are going to up their game against us, no ones going to roll over for us and if we’re serious for what our targets are, these are games we have to win, we have to set our stall out.

“Thankfully we’ve got a bit of a gap with where we are points wise – at some point we’re going to lose or draw a game – it’s a matter of us keeping up momentum and keep getting the points and secure what we’re trying to do as early as we can and see where it leaves us, it’s not going to be an easy game.

“We’ve got a block of fixtures where we play five of the bottom seven, they’re worse, harder games for me, if one person isn’t motivated or switches off, it’s like a jenga lock, everything comes down.

“We have to be self-motivated, prepare right and it’s over to us to keep going because I can be a hero today and a villain tomorrow.”

Runcorn Linnets handed Newcastle Town their first defeat of the campaign in October after first-half goals from Jamie Rainford and Ryan Brooke.

It starts a run against teams in the bottom half of the table but Wild is under no illusions that after their unbeaten run, the target on their head has increased.

He added: “I’ve always found these games a little bit more difficult to negotiate, it’s just football. I didn’t even know they’d gone down to the table but they’re not going to be anywhere near there come the end of the season, they’re a good side.

“Every game at this level is difficult, anything can happen, we’re prepped right, we know right now what we’re going with, the team, lets get there and keep this momentum going but six wins would be in credible, if it ends at five so be it, it’s been a fine run.”

Saturday saw Linnets overcome playoff rivals Leek Town as Rainford continued his brilliant goalscoring run in the Northern Premier League.

Lewis Doyle’s goal shortly after the hour mark completed the scoring on what was an almost complete performance from the visitors.

Wild explained: “We’re really happy with that result, you know my mentality everything’s going for a win, I’d have probably been very happy leaving there with a draw and we were just brilliant. For the first time this season, I looked at us and thought we were very complete in every department in the first-half.

“I’ve made it no secret that I’ve been frustrated with first-half performances and they stepped up to it on Saturday, we defended really doggedly at the end when we were under pressure, credit to Leek because they’re a very good side and thankfully we got the job done. It’s another three points, that’s four wins on the run and we’ve beaten Trafford so that’s five.

“It’s blown me away, I knew we would have a positive season, I was in no doubt about that from pre-season, defensively we were that solid.

“We’ve beat Workington away on a Tuesday night, we’ve beat Leek, Macclesfield and Kidsgrove, they’re all the teams in and around – we got beat by Mossley early in the season – but in the main, we’ve took games to the best teams in the league.

“To be fair to those teams, they’ve took it to us, we just had the rub of the green and luck of the draw and it could easily turn in the second half of the season but it’s been a really positive, enjoyable experience but ultimately, it means nothing at this stage of the season, we’ve got to go match it and go again, the hard work continues.”

A late goal from Matty Morgan halved the deficit on Tuesday night and made for a nervy ending for Runcorn Linnets.

Wild admitted that his side were far from firing on all cylinders but will take the three points nonetheless.

“I actually text DC [Danny Caldecott] yesterday to say ‘you didn’t deserve that [loss]’, they deserved something from the game,” he continued.

“He’s a great guy DC, a very good manager and he’s worked successfully at Trafford with what he has in terms of restraints and stuff, I thought they come and caused us issues – not defensively, I didn’t think we were much threat of conceding but we had to be at a different level – they were dogged, solid, caused us issues defensively.

“Ultimately we’ve scored off a set-piece that pulled us away from them and won us the game, we were nowhere near our best, we were below par, if we win games after such a hectic, heavy schedule and still win games under poor performances I can’t really grumble about that.

“But we weren’t at our best, a draw would’ve probably been a fair result but we got the points so it is what it is.”

[Featured Image: Tom Paul]

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