Michael Clegg sets out league demand as Warrington Rylands fired Belper Town warning

Michael Clegg Warrington Rylands at Gainsborough Trinity

Warrington Rylands manager Michael Clegg has set out ambitions to finish their season strongly starting against already relegated Belper Town on Good Friday.

The Blues returned to winning ways last time out as they beat Lancaster City 2-1 at Gorsey Lane.

Mo Touray and Osebi Abadaki scrubbed off Rudy Misambo’s opener to claim a second win for Clegg since replacing Jody Banim in February.

Despite claiming the comeback to move to within touching distance of teams in mid-table, it wasn’t the best performance according to the Rylands boss. He told Off The Park: “We was bang average to be honest, probably the worst football we’ve played since I’ve been there and we got three points.

“It was a strange one, we won differently and I think we deserved it but we weren’t as convincing as we have been in recent weeks where we came away with nothing.

“We were unreal against Marske, how we lost that game – it’s probably the best performance I’ve seen from a team that I’ve managed and we lost. It’s just a strange league, it’s just a crazy league and we were worthy of our three points, I just didn’t think we were great.

“I just didn’t think we were fluid and saying that I thought Lancaster’s shape was good, they frustrated us, they didn’t let us play our game but on the flip side, we rolled our sleeves up and battled then we won them in the battles,” Clegg continued dissecting their performance against Lancaster.

“The loan lads and the young lads, I was made up for them to go and play, that was really good for me to see. I don’t mind winning like that to be honest but it just wasn’t as good as it could’ve been but we picked up the points so we were happy.”

Rylands are just four games away from completing their first season in the Northern Premier League in what has been a rollercoaster campaign spanning three permanent managers and the replenishing of the squad that started the season.

Since taking over, Clegg has won two, lost twice and drawn as many times but after reflecting on his two months in charge, he feels like the approach could’ve been different.

He added: “It’s a strange one for me, in terms of football on the pitch I think we’ve been really good but the mindset of people within it is ‘we can’t go up, we can’t go down so lets enjoy it’ I think if I could start my time again we could’ve properly done some damage.

“I think we all could’ve done a little bit more, I’d say I’m a bit frustrated because I’m shocked at how good the squad is. When we’ve added the lads we have to it, they’re a really good group so they could’ve done more but it’s been and gone. We’ve got Belper on Friday so we want to finish strongly.”

Belper Town’s fate was sealed in midweek as they were beaten 1-0 against Marske United. The bottom boys are now playing with pride on the line ahead of their final four games of the campaign.

However, despite their position, the Rylands boss is fully aware of their quality and has fired a warning to his players that there could be a reaction.

“It’ll be the first game in a long time where they play with not being anxious or feeling the result is the be all and end all,” he said.

“They’ll probably play with a bit of freedom, it’s dangerous still, but so are we. We’ve been good at home so I’m expecting nothing less than three points.

“I don’t think anyone should be up for it more than us, it’s a good time for me to go and win the first back-to-back games since I’ve been at Rylands.

“It’s a good time for us to go chase Lancaster, FC United and the few teams above us and finish in the top half.

“Hopefully we’ll go into the Radcliffe game with two wins behind us and go there to try get an upset on Bank Holiday Monday. We can still end the season strong, now it’ll be good to go string a few wins together before the year is out.”

[Featured image: Warrington Rylands – Mark Percy]

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