Simon Weaver: The manager’s view

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.(1407218AM9)
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.(1407218AM9)

Harrogate Town AFC manager Simon Weaver writes exclusively for the Harrogate Advertiser.

The defeat at Chorley was disappointing as we presented the opposition with four opportunities to score against us and they took them.

They didn’t have to work hard for their chances but they were ruthless in executing the finishing off of them.

We actually passed the ball much better for much of the game than in previous weeks.

I was questioned by Radio York after the game why we had adopted a direct game-plan which I found strange as if this was the case then my new central midfield player, Nicky Featherstone surely wouldn’t have successfully completed 48 out of his 50 passes during the game.

We set up a phase of play in training during the week to encourage the back four to split and feed the ball into the midfield.

We also encourage all the players to commit to being brave on the ball rather than hide and avoid making a mistake.

This mindset takes time to implement especially at the moment as we don’t seem to be able to get a clear run without injury.

The knives are out in certain quarters, some people clearly angry at our lack of forward momentum at the moment.

My job isn’t to fire back at the critics or pay attention to the odd personal jibe.

As I’ve mentioned before you think you know someone until you hit a rocky patch and then that’s when a person’s full character is exposed.

My job is to work with the Physio and help her have the best equipment possible to reduce the injury list.

As a club we have paid out more than £1,000 pounds in scans and extra Physio help since the start of the season.

We are grafting to be able to at some stage be able to put out a consistent team and only when I can achieve this will consistent results follow.

We trained on Monday night in order to see who was fit and implement the game-plan ahead of the Gainsborough match.

We don’t normally do this on a Monday but we are hungry to improve our league position as soon as possible.

We discussed the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents and then worked on our team shape.

We finished with a high-tempo small sided game. I asked the players to give us three key ingredients.

To be brave on the ball, to be brave off the ball and to commit 100% effort to the badge.

Whilst we only drew 0-0 the grit and passion on display was pleasing. Each tackle put in was won no one can deny we tried to pass the ball.

It will take time for confidence to be restored.

There’s a lot of new players in our changing room from last season and I believe they all want to do well.

I’ve discussed the injury situation and the knock-on effects it has on consistency, confidence,results and momentum.

The big thing for Macca and I is that our Board of Directors understand these factors and have belief in our way of managing people.

If we can stay consistent in our message to the players in terms of not hammering them for trying to do the right things in games, even if at times they don’t successfully execute them, then we will at least have togetherness.

Strength at these times can be gained from understanding and togetherness and from my experiences in football there have been very few cases of a really united team behind the scenes.