Clark eyes 60 points despite wage slash
SIMON Clark has set the target of 60 points for his Tigers side, despite having to release a number of players to reduce the club’s wage bill.
The manager let Steve Gardner and Michael Jacklin leave last week, sent Marc Roberts on loan to Buxton and removed Mario Ziccardi from the matchday squad.
This has left the club with just four senior defenders, and will gave opportunities to some of the prospects in Kevin Staniland’s Under 19 setup.
Clark admits that his goal of seven more wins from the 13 remaining Northern Premier games will be a tough proposition.
He told the Guardian: “Our target for this season is to get to 60 points, but it’s a big ask.”
“I can understand the reasons for cutting the wage bill to work towards next year.”
“With the structure of the club and where it was when I took over, I’ve been put in this situation that I have to manage.”
“Obviously it’s not ideal but we will have a right good go next season.”
“While it’s difficult and while we have 13 league games left, we have a chance to work with the Under 19s.”
“But the senior players that are still here need to keep injury free, we need a lot of luck and I expect the players to give us their all.”
A number of Staniland’s youngsters are already training with the first team, and five of them took a place on the bench for Saturday’s win over Nantwich Town.
While Clark is enthusiastic about introducing the ‘kids’ to life in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, he insists they won’t be thrown in at the deep end.
“I can’t play with three Under 19 debutants, it’s hard enough with players from the league below or even the same league,” he said.
“It will be interesting to see how they react and compete, it’s a man’s league, there isn’t that much football played by certain teams and mentality is massive.”
“You can get rolled over physically by some teams.”
The former Stamford boss is remaining positive and wants the supporters to do the same.
“We’re delighted to be here, the fans are great and we get on well with the chairman.”
“I know what I will do in pre-season, I know 85 per cent of what I want player wise and we want fans to be patient with us now, and to back us next year because they will see a better Worksop Town Football Club.”
“This year is a learning curve, I think we’re averaging two points a game with someone else’s squad – no disrespect to Martin McIntosh (his predecessor) – and I’m learning for next year.”
Saturday’s 1-0 victory drew a line under their previous outings in 2012 according to the manager, and he was full of praise for his depleted squad, in particular emergency right-back Matt Young.
“I was absolutely delighted with them, from one to 11.”
“I was pleased for Lee Beeson, playing with a hamstring injury, he will fly once he’s fully fit.”
“Matty Young was excellent, he’s one of those who will be a coach and a manager one day – I like to hear his opinion a lot, he comes out with decent stuff and I could probably put him anywhere on the pitch and trust him.”
Owain Warlow should be fit for Saturday’s visit of Whitby Town after a bout of gastroenteritis although is not expected to play a full 90 minutes, while Ash Burbeary is out for at least another week with his knee injury.
Looking ahead to the clash with the Seasiders Clark added: “Our games at home against teams below us are massive.”