Castle handed Blue Square South Manager of the Month award
STEVE Castle has been named the Blue Square South Manager of the Month for March. The St Albans City boss guided his side to five wins and a draw from six fixtures to lift the club out of the relegation zone.
STEVE Castle has been named the Blue Square South Manager of the Month for March.
The St Albans City boss guided his side to five wins and a draw from six fixtures to lift the club out of the relegation zone. Castle, who took over following the sacking of Dave Anderson, in January said: "I am pleased. It is an old cliché but the award is for everybody. I couldn't be praised if it wasn't for the players applying themselves. I am pleased with the acquisitions we have made and I am pleased for the lads that I inherited. Lee Clarke has come back in rejuvenated and Ryan Frater, Ben Martin and Scott Cousins have been amazing. Scott had the best game that I have seen him play since I took over on Saturday.
"Everybody has contributed from my assistant manager Andy Edwards to the chairman, the secretary and especially the players. It has been a complete squad effort and the back room staff and everybody have pulled together."
The Saints kicked off the month with a superb 3-0 win at Weston-super-Mare and then crushed Basingstoke Town 4-1 at Clarence Park. League leaders Lewes were brushed aside 2-0 at The Dripping Pan and only a last gasp goal from Thurrock halted the winning run as City settled for a point. On Easter Monday goals from Lee Clarke and Paul Bruce, with his fifth of the month, were enough to bury Hayes & Yeading United and Saints ended March on a high with a hard fought 1-0 win against FA Cup headline makers Havant & Waterlooville. Castle said: "At this moment in time our position looks a lot healthier. If I could be Manager of the Month next month as well it would be better as it would be certain that we have stayed up.
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"If we had carried on how we were, we would have been down by now but we haven't got out of it yet. I hope we have hit form at the right time. We have started scoring a lot more freely and we look a lot more assured from set plays. With Paul Bastock coming in and Ben Martin and Ryan Frater getting better and better, hopefully we have eradicated the mistakes. We were even disappointed with the two goals we did concede in the month. The two points that we have dropped were quite unfortunate and I hope that doesn't cost us."
The clash with Welling United on Saturday promises to be a thrilling game between the two form sides in the division. Castle is ready for a huge test of how far his side have progressed and is not concerned about the widely reported Manager of the Month jinx. He said: "I did read an article from Chris Kamara (Sky Sports pundit) that said it is a myth and that 70 per cent of the managers win after that. I am listening to Chris Kamara and not to the rest of them.
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"Welling are a team in form and I think it will be our hardest game of the season. They are fighting like we are to avoid relegation and they have got some cracking results. I don't think it makes any difference whether we are home or away. We have to take the game to them and have no regrets after the match."
Weston-super-Mare 0 St Albans City 3 Bruce 2, Clarke
St Albans City 4 Basingstoke Town 1 Bruce 2, Hakim, Sunday
Lewes 0 St Albans City 2 Clarke, Hakim
Thurrock 1 St Albans City 1 Hakim
St Albans City 2 Hayes & Yeading 0 Clarke, Bruce
St Albans City 1 Havant & Waterlooville 0 Hakim