Shaw: ‘My players aren’t crumbling but they need backing, not more heat’

Worksop Town v Athersley Rec.
Kyle Jordan eyes a forward pass in the first half.
Worksop Town v Athersley Rec. Kyle Jordan eyes a forward pass in the first half.
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Mark Shaw is backing his players, who he says need more support from the stands and less ‘heat on their backs.’

Worksop Town have lost all three of their October outings so far and have just three wins in their last 10 fixtures.

Despite seeing his side slip to 13th in the NCEL Premier, a long way off pacesetters Liversedge and Cleethorpes, Shaw says they deserve credit for not crumbling under increasing pressure.

He admits, however, it has been a testing time for everyone.

“It’s probably been the toughest month I’ve had as a football manager,” he said.

“We’ve not had a lot of luck, we’ve lost games by goals in the last five minutes, hit the bar and the post and had goal-line clearances and then they’ve gone down the other end and scored.

“It’s a frustrating period for us.

“We’ve got some really good players but can’t get the best team out on the pitch due to injuries, suspensions and availability issues.

“I’m very frustrated.

“I like to be successful and we’re trying to make it successful on the pitch but it’s not happening at this minute.”

The remedy lies in hard work, according to the boss, something his players are not afraid of.

“We’re working hard, the players are working hard, their work-rate and attitude have been brilliant,” he said.

“They’re feeling the pressure from very upset people on the sidelines but they’re sticking together.

“They showed a lot of heart and desire on Saturday against a very difficult team.

“They’re working hard, we’ve got to praise them.”

Tigers, who host strugglers Armthorpe Welfare on Saturday before next Wednesday’s visit of Liversedge, have come in for criticism on social media.

Shaw wants others to join him in backing the squad and giving them a break.

Lesser players would have shied away from the challenge facing Worksop, he says.

“A lot of people would be crumbling right now but they want to get on and train and work even harder,” he said.

“They need a little bit of heat taken off their backs and need to get back to playing their game.

“They need to know they’re cared about.

“They will come good, I’ve got a lot of belief in them.”

This Saturday’s game is against Armthorpe, who have just one win to their credit in the NCEL Premier this season, a victory over fellow strugglers Barton last weekend.

The clash at Sandy Lane is vital for Shaw’s Worksop Town.

Shaw said: “We want to go on a run. They players want to get themselves back up there.

“That mentality comes from me, it comes from the group.

“It’s very important to take one game at a time and get one win at a time to get ourselves back up the ladder.

“It starts on Saturday, we need to beat Armthorpe whether it’s 1-0 or 5-2, we just need a win.

“If we can do that then we’re going to be able to take a step forward and look at the Liversedge game.”