‘League’s unforgiving’ – Warrington Rylands manager David McNabb eyes improvement ahead of Ashton United trip

Callum Dolan's goal for Warrington Rylands vs Nantwich Town

Warrington Rylands manager David McNabb was pleased with his side’s response to their opening day disappointment against Gainsborough Trinity.

The Blues took the lead against Nantwich Town on Tuesday thanks to a superb strike by Callum Dolan, however the hosts hit back with two goals in quick succession in the second half through Sean Cooke. But a delicate flick by Kane Drummond brought the sides level as the hosts were reduced to 10-men in the latter stages.

Following their opening day disappointment, McNabb was forced to apologise to the fans as they were dispatched 3-0 by Trinity.

Following the draw with Nantwich, the Rylands boss told Off The Park: “I thought it was a massive improvement from Saturday’s game, the lads worked really hard, we battled for everything.

“I thought first-half, we were very good with the ball, I think there was an element of nerves following from Saturday when we out for the second half there was almost a feeling of a lack of confidence, nervousness that we were going to let Nantwich back into the game.

“Which we did but I was pleased with the way we responded to that we got the equaliser and I think there was only one team that was going to go on and win it towards the end, particularly when they went down to 10. But we just didn’t quite have enough quality in the final third to get the winner.

It was a moment of brilliance from Dolan that opened the scoring. McNabb hailed his performances since arriving last season, he added: “That’s what Cal’s capable of, he’s got unbelievable technique and this pre-season, he’s probably been our most consistent player throughout.

“Even in some of the games, we didn’t play as well, his work rate off the ball is increasing massively. He’s starting to really show now, he’s had a year at the club, this is his second year and he’s starting to show just how good of a player he can be. Hopefully it carries on and he can go up the pyramid. 

The Rylands manager eluded to a sense of nerves since their promotion, on whether that’s a worry, he said: “I don’t think it’s a worry, success brings momentum I think the way and manner in which we conceded the goals on Saturday was really disappointing from our point of view.

“Full credit to Gainsborough, they took chances when they had them but from our point of view, it’s three very avoidable goals and when you come away from the opening day and you’ve lost 3-0, you’re going to have a few moments of concern and lack of confidence but I think Tuesday solved that.

“In terms of the way we started, the way we responded, we just need to be a little less naive because this league’s unforgiving and you’ll get punished every time you make a mistake.”

“If someone would’ve offered us a point going into the game we would’ve taken it. Nantwich are a good side, they’ve got lots of technical ability in the middle, they’re good on the ball, a solid back four then in attack they’ve got a good mix of attacking players which can cause different problems,” he added on Tuesday’s meeting with Nantwich Town.

“They’re a good side, I’m a bit disappointed that we couldn’t get the winner because of the circumstances but we would’ve took a point at the start of the game.”

This weekend it’s another trip away from home as they visit Ashton United. On the clash, McNabb said: “It’s going to be an unbelievably tough game, we need to be better defensively as a unit and as a team. I think Ashton are probably one of the best teams defensively in the league for me.

“Very well organised, Cleggy’s (Michael Clegg) a fantastic manager, he’ll have them organised, resolute, big, strong, powerful and workman-like. Then in that final third, they’ve got players who can hurt you so I think for us to get anything out of the game we’ve got to try keep a clean sheet.  

“By all accounts they fully deserved that point if not a little more on Tuesday (vs South Shields), I think they had to make a few enforced changes which probably changed the complexion of the game and allowed South Shields into it.

“Look, Ashton are a fantastic side and a big, big club, Cleggy’s a brilliant manager, a good friend and he’ll have them well organised. They’ll have done their homework on us, we’ll have done ours on them, it might come down to who can get that first goal because that first goal is probably going to be key in this game.”

[Featured image: Warrington Rylands – Mark Percy]

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