Gritty rather than pretty, but we were good value for the point, says Phil

 

Following Saturday's 1-1 draw at Boreham Wood, Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson was interviewed by Laurence Howarth. Unfortunately, there were one or two technical issues that affected the sound quality and prevented us broadcasting it in audio form. However, we have been able to transcribe most of the interview, and it is reproduced below.

"It was a really gritty away day performance. That is a side of our game we are not really renowned for, but it’s what was needed today. We knew what we were facing, going to Boreham Wood, and the game plan was always going to be that we had to deal with the challenge and, if we couldn’t get a foothold and string passes together like we normally do, could we pinch something, and we were very close to doing that in the end.

We had to be resolute in defence, and I’d say that has been our biggest step forward this season, cutting out the silly individual errors that have cost us in certain games. As a unit, as a team, the lads have vastly improved defensively, and that needs to continue to get anywhere in this division. We are laying foundations we can build on.

I know people will be disappointed that we are drawing games at the moment, rather than winning, but we’ve only lost once, and, in this division, any point is huge, particularly on the road.

Here, we’ve been away to a side who are always pushing for the play-offs, or in them. They are a very good, well drilled team, but we are feeling disappointed at not coming away with all three points.

We are a work in progress, but we are doing all the right things. We will keep going and keep churning out results, and when we start getting the breaks that seem to be going against us at the moment, we will be a real force.

The main disappointment was conceding early in the second half after going in front with a really well-worked goal just before half-time. We conceded too many corners, and that can be costly against a team like Boreham Wood, as proved the case. Just one moment when you’re not concentrating, and you get punished.

It’s a shame, because if we just see out that little spell, we go on to win the game.

I thought Marcus Dinanga was arguably man of the match for us. He did some unbelievable stuff, not least for our goal. He had a lot of work to do, and it was an unselfish bit of play to set up Aaron Bennett.

He could have panicked or played the obvious pass, but he waited and then got the weight just right, and, to be fair to Aaron, he finished with aplomb.

I thought Ollie Byrne did really well. It’s always difficult for a visiting keeper at Boreham Wood, because they launch it on you. But his sheer presence really gave us something. Overall, he did really well, and he will only get better, the more he plays.

The same applies to Liam Brockbank. He’s only 21, and he has stepped up a couple of divisions, but he’s got the heart of a lion, and he wants to keep learning and keep progressing. He will get plenty of encouragement from us.

Now it’s on to Chesterfield at The J.Davidson on Monday afternoon, and what a great game for everyone to be involved in. We need our fans to turn out in their droves, because we know they’re coming over in numbers, and we don’t want it to feel like a home game for them.

We need our 12th man. Chesterfield are looking a better team than they were last season, but we’ve got a really good squad as well, and we’re really looking forward to it."

 

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