September 26th, 2016

In-form Reds are setting their sights high says McDonald

Updated: 12:25 pm, Sep 29, 2015

THERE is plenty more to come – that is the message from Redditch United boss Liam McDonald after watching his side earn a fifth successive Southern League Premier Division victory with a 2-0 success at Slough Town on Tuesday.

Hot on the heels of Saturday’s 2-0 home win over King’s Lynn Town, the Reds produced an equally efficient performance at Holloways Park to keep their unbeaten away league record intact and extend their run of league games without defeat to nine.

However, not content with watching his side climb to fourth place – just two points behind leaders Chippenham Town – McDonald has urged his side to capitalise further on their fine form and believes his men are more than capable of rising to the challenge.

McDonald said: “We are the in-form side in the league and the incentive now is for us to keep it going because it will breed more and more confidence and it’s important to take full advantage of purple patches of form.

“Yes, we can go top of the table if we win at home to St Neots Town on Monday and that would ne nice but, rather than congratulate ourselves on that, a win would mean it extends our winning run.

“Then you can perhaps think about winning seven or eight in a row, perhaps even ten. Yes, that’s improbable, but I want us to aim high. If you do manage to win ten in a row and take 30 points from 30, or anything even close to that, then you are pretty much guaranteed to finish in the top ten.

“Of course there will be hiccups along the way during the season, so piling on the points when things are going well is crucial.”

McDonald said his team had still not played to their full potential this season, but he is increasingly pleased by the side’s displays and hailed their commitment to keeping clean sheets.

“We are looking very solid now and have shown some excellent game management in the last two games. Perhaps 12 months ago when 2-0 up we’d have been going all out for the third goal, but now we are saying to teams, ‘can you find a way to break us down?’,” said McDonald.

“That doesn’t mean we are being negative, not at all, but we have learned some lessons from last season – both the players and the management team.

“We are growing as a management team, maturing in the way we go about things, and we look a very organised side.”

McDonald, whose side tasted victory on Saturday thanks to goals either side of half time from Jamie Ashmore and Luke Shearer and could afford to see captain Danny Dubidat have his late penalty saved, is pleased by contributions from players throughout the side.

“At Slough we scored a fantastic goal for this level of football. It was a great team goal featuring some superb individual play from Jamey Osborne and then Dubidat has fired it into the top corner to set us on our way with an early goal.

“We dug in, were very comfortable in what we were doing and deserved the second goal from Jamie Molyneux.

“The desire to keep another clean sheet was admirable and that’s been typified by Jose Veiga in goal.”

Former Worcester City stopper Veiga, 38, was recruited last week and McDonald has been thrilled by his early impact.

“I cannot speak highly enough of Jose,” said McDonald. “He’s settled in brilliantly and all of the defenders have been raving about how comfortable they feel playing in front of him.

“We had a team night out which Jose was part of and enjoyed and bringing someone of his experience into a young squad has been very beneficial. He’s already made a couple of superb saves.”

McDonald, who may lose striker Jordan Archer following Bedworth United’s seven-day approach for the forward, now turns his attentions to Red Insure League Cup first round action as Division One Central outfit Aylesbury United visit the Valley Stadium on Saturday.

The manager, who will assess a minor quad injury sustained by right back Kyle Haynes, said squad rotation would take place as he looks to give vital minutes to those on the fringes of the first team and also rest some players ahead of Monday’s testing league game against St Neots.

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