Anyone expecting a fire cracker of a local derby between Liversedge and Thackley at Clayborn yesterday will have been disappointed at the tepid affair that was served up in front of a crowd of 94 writes Ian Robinson, and whilst Sedge Manager Jonathan Rimmington will have been delighted with a fourth successive league clean sheet that, along with Mason O’Malley’s solitary goal, opened up a six point gap between the teams, Thackley Manager Patrick McGuire was less than impressed and he spoke at length to TBG afterwards.
“It’s interesting how you can get a feel for games in the warm up, and today stank of an end of season game with two teams who have nothing to play for. That certainly wasn’t my intention, make no mistake about it, it was a local derby and I want to finish above Liversedge. I spoke about it with Rimmo after and he said the same about wanting to finish above us, so there was loads to play for. “One thing I’ve said is with everyone writing us off as relegation fodder pre-season, I don’t want to just stay up and think that’s good enough, I want to turn a few heads and finish as high as possible. It’s easy from the side though, and as a player I appreciate sometimes games are just flat. What we needed was Sedge to go in front like Goole did last week to spark us into life, but we got away with a fair few in the first half and have Willo to thank for sparing our blushes. I said to the lads at half time that it can’t take going behind or relying on someone else to spark us, and to be fair they performed better in the second half.
“The goal we conceded though was once again a sloppy goal, same old same old. Maybe that’s me for not replacing people and bringing others in, but I really believe in this group of players and couldn’t think more highly of them. The quality in our changing room is exceptional but we need a few more leaders.
“As a Manager, you want your team to be a reflection of yourself and finishing just above relegation in the NCEL is nothing that interests me. Some may see that as a massive success with our resources, but it doesn’t matter how good players are, you can’t change what’s within them. I made that statement in pre-season that the mentality of this football club had to change and in many ways it has, as standards have risen dramatically, but on the pitch, the fact that I can’t remember us winning back to back games speaks volumes. I will continue to back these players though and remind myself that we are trying to build something here. It will take time. But this manager lark ain’t half frustrating!
“Hopefully, next weekend’s return fixture at Dennyfield will prove to be a more entertaining affair as Liversedge go for a sixth successive victory in all competitions, whilst Thackley also have a midweek trip to Staveley to fit in beforehand.”