View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: I now feel these players can get us out of this mess

By David Prior at

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

Having suffered a postponement due to a frozen pitch on Saturday, it looks as if our Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round game against Blyth Spartans should go ahead tonight at 7.45pm.

This competition holds particularly happy recent memories for me as I was the manager of FC Halifax Town who won the Trophy in May, beating Grimsby Town 1-0 in front of a fantastic crowd of 46,781 at Wembley Stadium. That game was played on the day after Manchester United beat Crystal Palace in the Emirates FA Cup Final and like Louis Van Gaal, I lost my job within 24 hours of winning a trophy at Wembley Stadium!!

jimhar

Whilst surviving in the Vanarama National League North is very much the number one priority at Altrincham this season, the FA Trophy is still important and we are very keen to progress tonight and build on the very positive performance at Alfreton 10 days ago.

I’m not sure how we didn’t manage to win that game but after getting over the shock of conceding two very late goals that meant that we ended up on the wrong end of a 3-2 score line, I felt very encouraged that these players can get us out of the mess that we are in at the wrong end of the league and that’s a feeling that I haven’t had too often since joining the club in September.

I am planning to make just one change to the starting line-up tonight and I really hope that we can build on the excellent individual and team display that we saw in Derbyshire.

Simon Lenighan and Luis Morrison-Derbyshire are Trophy tied, having already played for Warrington Town and Greenwich Borough respectively and Kidderminster did not want Wayne Thomas to become Trophy tied, so he has returned to Aggborough as his month loan expires before our next league game.

Craig Hobson might be available, having trained last Thursday, so things are certainly picking up on the injury front and I believe if we stay calm, that this existing squad of players has the talent to turn this season around.

There is £4,000 prize money available to the winners so that’s also a sizeable carrot for us to go for, as is the home draw in the next round against Macclesfield Town… I know that a lot of Alty fans would be really looking forward to that game, should we progress.

I am sure that Blyth will see tonight’s game as a big one for them and they are having a good season and are currently just three points off the top of the Evo-Stik League Premier Division, with a game in hand.

In Robbie Dale, Daniel Maguire and Jarrett Rivers, they have three players who are all potential matchwinners, so we know that we are in for a stern test, but also that its one that we can pass.