View From The Dugout

View from the Dugout: That non-performance was forgivable – providing it never ever happens again

By Phil Parkinson at

Today is our first game in 14 days as we had a blank Saturday last week, due to Spennymoor Town being involved in the FA Trophy.

We travel to FC United of Manchester with a squad that includes four new signings since we lost 3-0 at Leamington a fortnight ago.

I couldn’t accept that ‘non-performance’ and I have been proactive to bring players in to hopefully give our existing players a kick up the backside… nobody’s place is safe… everyone is playing for their own future.

I didn’t want to leave things to chance and just hope that we could put that defeat behind us and the new additions will increase competition for places and give us the best chance of reaching the play-offs.

Max Harrop on the ball at Leamington

Our training schedule has been hit a bit by the bad weather but it was good for a number of first team players to get a run out for the reserves last week in a 2-0 win over Knutsford.

We were miles away from what we are all about at Leamington… we didn’t play our way for the first time in 18 months. It’s forgivable, providing it doesn’t happen again. It’s been addressed, we have drawn a line under it and we never want to see that again.

We have brought in one of the top goalkeepers at this level in Steven Drench, who is vastly experienced, has undoubted ability on the ball and knows what it takes to get promoted from this league.

Experienced Steven Drench has joined the Robins

With James Poole sustaining a hamstring injury playing for Hyde, he will not be available to play for us in the short-term at least and therefore we have brought in Mason Fawns from Curzon Ashton to provide cover and competition for the number 10 role.

Mason hasn’t played a lot of football in recent weeks, so is not 100% match fit but has shown up really well in training, he has some great touches.

Joe Piggott is a young, very talented, striker who will play down the middle, whilst Jordan Hulme is suspended for the next four games and he will put pressure on Jordan once he is available again in March. Joe is with us until the end of the season from Wigan Athletic.

Nathan Waterston came on for his debut at Leamington

Nathan Waterston, who has signed on loan from Barrow, came on midway through the second half at Leamington and he can play anywhere up front, which is important as we need that versatility.

Yusifu Ceesay is an exciting, pacy player who is full of trickery and has been brought up in our style of play. He could be a very important signing and has already been on loan with Boston, Telford and Nuneaton this season, so we wanted to get him on board until the end of the season, so that he is set.

It’s all about today’s game now. FC United are a big club with a big following and Neil Reynolds has brought in some good players since taking over in October, calling in one or two favours in the loan market as well.

We are expecting a big reaction from our players and it’s up to them to deliver today.