View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: To get out of this hole we must learn to defend properly

By David Prior at

The latest column for Altrincham Today from Altrincham FC manager Jim Harvey…

I was very disappointed with our performance against Salford City last Saturday. Almost two and a half thousand people turned up to see the game which is a terrific crowd but once the players went out onto the pitch it seemed that everything that we had been working on in training went out of the window and a lot of players reverted to form and played from instincts rather than instruction.

Salford fully deserved their victory and our situation worsens as we remain bottom of the league and are now nine points from safety as two of the three teams above us won (Curzon Ashton & Bradford Park Avenue).

Our decision making and game management is poor at present but if we are going to get out of this hole then we must start defending properly.

For both of Salford’s goals, there was more than one defender that didn’t do his job and you just cannot get away with that.

There is a huge job on here and I still haven’t hit upon a formation and way of playing that will give us a decent chance of staying in this league but that needs to happen soon as we must start to win games pretty quickly.

Sean Miller with the ball last Saturday

Sean Miller with the ball last Saturday

We are at Alfreton Town today. Nicky Law has assembled a group of talented players and they have had one or two eye-catching results this season.

Hopefully, they will be a bit weary after a long energy-sapping trip to Newport in midweek, when they performed very well against the League Two team, taking them to extra-time in an FA Cup First Round Replay, before tiring in the final 30 minutes, when they conceded three times to eventually go out by a 4-1 scoreline.

Andy McWilliams with a saving tackle against Salford

Andy McWilliams with a saving tackle against Salford

Tom Hannigan should be available today for us, having missed the Salford game last week with a knee injury, but Craig Hobson’s broken bone in his foot hasn’t healed yet, so he will be missing again.

Shaun Densmore is back in training now and beginning to make good progress with his knee injury, although he has quite a lot of work to do to build up the muscle around the injury.

We need a win now and we will travel to Derbyshire aiming to bring back all three points from our final league game this month.

Images: Michael Ripley

Greg Wilkinson beats a Salford player to a header

Greg Wilkinson beats a Salford player to a header