Tigers boss defends his forwards and backs them to keep improving

Worksop Town v Sheffield FC. Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw.
Worksop Town v Sheffield FC. Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw.

Mark Shaw has backed his strikers – who already have 19 goals between them – to improve further as they settle into the Tigers system.

Dre Johnson and Mitch Husbands have scored 13 and six times respectively this season, but have come in for some criticism in recent games for not holding the ball up or stamping their authority on the game.

But Shaw believes his young strikeforce have been handed a tough learning assignment and are adapting well.

“It’s down to me to get the front two to play within the system,” he said.

“What people don’t realise is that Mitch does a very difficult job for us, playing with his back to goal against very physical defenders, and Dre works off that.”

“I don’t think they’re struggling, it’s just trying to get the balance of trying to link them all together, the back, the midfield and the front two.”

“These things take time.”

The two centre forwards are doing what they can, I think they’re doing really well, both 20 and under, playing mens football.”

Shaw was unhappy with the way his side began their latest fixture, going a goal down to bottom side Nostell Miners Welfare, before beating the visitors 6-1 after a sending off.

He said: “It was a terrible start, we were so sloppy and without a tempo.”

“That was disappointing. I made my feelings clear at half time that the first 12 minutes were no where near our standards.”

“I always thought we would create chances and win the game but we won’t be able to start like that against a team that has more points on the board.”

He admitted that despite the goal glut, the game had fizzled out as a contest after Matthew Cunliffe’s first half red card.

“Once their player got sent off it was a non event, it was a case of us making sure we didn’t get any injuries or have any problems.”

“We’re going to come up against opposition with 10 men behind the ball.”

“We weren’t at our best, but we’ve seen a very difficult game off after going 1-0 down.”

Shaw takes his men to Glasshoughton Welfare on Saturday.