Shaw encouraged by Tigers showing, sings praises of midfield but admits there’s work to be done

Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw -Pic by: Richard Parkes
Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Mark Shaw was encouraged by his side’s return to form against Athersley Recreation at Sandy Lane.

Tigers hammered their Barnsley opponents 4-0, with some excellent performances throughout the team.

Shaw was pleased, but conceded there is still work to be done.

“It was a lot better,” he said.

“We’ve controlled the game from the first pass to the last one.

“We created some good chances, looked more cohesive and the buzz to go and perform and to win was there, from the first minute.

He sang the praises of the quartet in the middle of the park, who troubled Athersley from the outset.

“We lost possesison and they wanted to go and win it back.

“The midfield four brought energy.

“Cottingham, Harrison, Higginson and Elliott did really well. They were the heart of the team.”

He was also impressed by teenage right-back Jordan Hodder who gave his best showing so far as a Tiger.

“Hodder has been fantastic, he wanted a chance, we’ve given him a chance, and he’s picked up a position that people haven’t really wanted to take.

“I like him because of his mobility.

“He’s so steady. He’s a 19-year-old lad. He’s not going to play like that every week but it’s an encouraging sight to see young players playing really well.”

Although Shaw has been critical of several sides this season for losing their discipline at Sandy Lane, he could understand why Athersley, who had skipper Ryan White sent off and were perhaps lucky to keep Martyn Scully on the pitch, lost composure.

“I think they were very frustrated,” he said.

“They came with a game plan, they’re 1-0 down after two minutes, game plan over and we took control. I can understand their frustration.”

The one fly in the ointment was Andy Ofosu’s red card, for two yellows, in the final stages.

His manager wasn’t amused.

“It’s such a disappointing thing because everyone will remember the game for that. He’s won a penalty and got a yellow, then got another yellow after being offside. It’s a dampner on the perfect performance and result.

“Silly boy but he’ll learn when he has to miss a game and then start from the bench again.”

Now he wants his side to repeat the performance, and improve on it, so they pick up a string of victories.

“We’ve had a lot of flak about performances, players who’ve not done this and that, but we’ve been right back to where we were on that great run in October. “We’ve got to go on that same run again for the next two months and see where everybody else lies.

“We’ve got some work to do, we’ve got to get the fitness levels back up, keep working on things.

“Players in front of goal were a bit selfish, took too many touches.

“But it’s encouraging.”