Kevin Blackwell on the 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers at the weekend
“Well done to the players, I don’t think anybody that has seen us play recently will begrudge us that. We’ve been playing well for a long long time, but clean sheets win games – it’s as simple as that. Andy Bishop gives us that bit more experience up front, his finish was first class and we’ve missed that all season, he’s missed it but he has worked his socks off over the last six to eight weeks. He ran himself into the ground in the game...
Anyone that has seen us play have been going away asking how we’ve lost games. We lost them because we didn’t take the chances, yet on Saturday against a team that came here second in the table, and have been on a fantastic run of form, we had four or five other chances to win the game and win it well.
It was a terrific eleven man display from Trevor Carson pulling off one save, other than that it was just comfortable crosses. The centre halves were awesome, and the two full backs. Carl Regan in particular because it was his first full game since November. Tom Soares had his best game since arriving. People have said to me that Nicky Ajose doesn’t work hard, well if he doesn’t work hard I will show my backside….
Nicky has to show people what he is about; he’s come back to us and nicked a goal at the far post. He’s done everything that we asked of him, even going back to defend and clear from Paul Quinn at the back. Then we go through to the two lads in midfield who worked their socks off, and Bish on the lone man role – but he played it really well.
We’ve worked on things throughout the week, and all the things that we have worked on, the lads have carried out and we got the joy from it. We’ve got two experienced strikers with Andy Bishop and David Healy, but we haven’t had them. Bish is a lot fitter now, Saturday will help him, and he’s got the experience that young Tom Hopper hasn’t. I would love to see a fit Andy Bishop presented with the opportunities that Tom Hopper has had in recent weeks.
Tom Hopper has to learn from Bish, about when to close down, when to take a breather, when to hold it off, when to drop the shoulder. It was just a terrific performance, and rightly so. The first goal was just pure invention. The lads were bright, sharp and quick. We felt that it would be the undoing of Doncaster if we could move things quickly. It was pointless us fighting them, we know how big they are. When we moved it quickly, we caused them real problems.
We got to them; Bish had a great chance with the one on one. Nicky Ajose had a chance, Ethan Ebanks-Landell should have scored from Schuey’s cross and obviously Tom Soares has put one over the bar. I’ll take 2-0 all week if we save more goals for next weekend.
Its two consecutive clean sheets now. We’ve talked for long enough after games about the two areas that were costing us, both boxes. I think Saturdays performance showed that it’s getting there. It was significant to me that the same eleven that started were the same eleven that finished.
I can have 30 to 40 players here, but if they are not going to do the job, I need eleven players like that, that I know can go out and do that job. On their day, it has to be every game. We are working on something amongst the lads, we know what the target is and what to aim for. I’m really pleased with the players.
Obviously we are still going to be short, we couldn’t fill the bench again on Saturday, but I’m not really worried about that. If we have 12 to 13 players that are good, and we can keep them free of injury, then that is what will see us through to the end of the season.
We are still looking at a striker. I have a striker coming in next week from Spain on trial. There is no doubt that Bish will not be able to carry the load through until the end of the season, we still have young Tom Hopper so we will have to look at the games where we need to look at using two strikers. As management, we have to look at how we need to win games, what we have to do. Ideally we need around seven more wins and a few draws and we will be ok. We are solidly climbing our way out, other clubs do not want to play Bury Football Club. We are a very well organised side.”
Watch the full video interview with Kevin Blackwell on Shakers Player