Widnes’ John McGrath delights Dave Dempsey as they face Leek Town with ‘no pressure’

John McGrath celebrates his goal for Widnes

Widnes manager Dave Dempsey was delighted to see his side come out on top against a team higher up the Northern Premier League West.

John McGrath continued his fine form under Dempsey with the crucial goal as they shed daylight between themselves and the relegation zone with the win over play-off chasing Trafford.

For Dempsey, he felt Widnes’ win was thoroughly deserved and heaped praise on McGrath as well as strike partner Alex McMillan for their continuous battle to be on the scoresheet.

“We’ve had conversations over the last few weeks and I’ve been a little bit down after some games where I felt like we didn’t deserve the outcome,” he tells Off The Park.

“But on Saturday it was a very professional performance, we never sat back, we never played on the 1-0 lead, we went for more and both teams have had periods where they could’ve gone and nicked a goal but we kept in the game, keep them at arm’s length, we definitely worth the three points at the end. 

“I said to them at half-time ‘you have to manage the game’ we’ve been in that position in recent weeks where the game is close.

“You go back to the Newcastle game where we were 3-1 up and went up at 1-0 [against Trafford] and I said to them we have to manage moments in the game, it’s about digging in deep late in the game and if there’s a goal in the game making sure we get it and be hard to beat first and foremost.

“But the 11 starters, three subs that came on, the staff it was a great day for the club everyone applied themselves right. 

“John Mc [McGrath] and Alex Mc [McMillan] have got a competition going to see who can get the most goals I think, if it’s not one it’s the other.

“He’s been quality, absolutely quality since coming in, we had a good conversation after the game via messages he’s really settled, enjoying his football and I’m managing to get out of him what others haven’t in recent years.

“He’s got all the ability in the world, such a good lad, he wants to develop, win football matches and make a stamp at this level which is what he’s certainly doing. He’s got a very bright future if he applies himself the way he is.”

The tests continue for Widnes as they travel to another side looking to secure their place in the play-offs in the form of Leek Town.

Neil Baker’s side have enjoyed their home form in recent months with wins over Marine and Warrington Rylands in recent weeks, their visit to Staffordshire sees Widnes look to move closer to the pack in middle of the table.

Dempsey insists his side will be going there with a clean slate and “no pressure.”

He added: “Leek scored five against Clitheroe last time out, albeit Clitheroe had a couple of men sent off, they’re a good side, a very very good side.

“We’ll have a game plan, we were 1-1 up until 82 minutes where they countered and nicked a goal, it was a close contest last time out. It’ll be a tough contest, they’re one of the best in the league, they play the right way, they’ve got a very strong squad, they’ve added in the last couple of weeks.

“It’s going to be tough but [with] recent results, we’re going into it a lot more relaxed than if we were going into it on the back of three defeats.

“The boys have done really really well, we’re going in with no fear, there’s no pressure on us, we have to go do our best and see what we get out of it, it’ll be a good test.”

[Featured image: 617 Photography]

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