City boss delighted with players' response
CITY boss Steve Castle was delighted with the way his players responded from their FA Cup disappointment with a convincing win over Weston-super-Mare on Saturday. Goals from Luke Thurlbourne, Gary Cohen and Solomon Shields were enough to give City all thr
CITY boss Steve Castle was delighted with the way his players responded from their FA Cup disappointment with a convincing win over Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.
Goals from Luke Thurlbourne, Gary Cohen and Solomon Shields were enough to give City all three points and despite James Quilter's late goal making for a nervy final 10 minutes it was a comfortable victory for Castle's men.
The City boss was bitterly disappointed to see his side go out of the FA Cup with a whimper last weekend and asked his players for a reaction at the Woodspring Stadium and the 43-year-old was delighted with their response.
"They all shared the disappointment and took the criticism," said Castle after the match, "I only really asked for one thing - a response - and I think I got that. Hopefully the quality will come but in spurts there it was very pleasing.
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"There were conditions which weren't conducive for a flowing game of football on a lovely surface but it was real swirly wind; it wasn't an advantage to anyone really. I think we dealt with it slightly better and (I'm) pleased with the three points."
The highlight of the day was Cohen's first goal of the season ending a 19-game run without a goal for the striker and Castle was delighted for his front man to have put an end to that.
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"It was a great ball from Alex Bailey to open up Mr Cohen" said the City boss. "I think everybody who's involved in the football club are pleased for the lad because he really did take the defeat (at Heybridge) badly on Saturday and really wanted to show that he wants to be at the football club and that he wants me to be his manager here and that was pleasing."
City reverted to three in midfield for the game with James Fisher returning from suspension to partner Shields and Thurlbourne.
Shields continued his recent run of good form with an authoritative display in the centre of the park capping his performance with a fine finish for City's third goal and Castle was full of praise for the 19-year-old.
"Solomon has been fantastic, I can't fault him. He's going forward with such authority and he's winning balls back," added Castle.
"Credit to Sol, he kept himself fit once he had that three game suspension and he's come back and looks like he's never been away and he looks a vital asset for us."
The one negative to come from the game was an injury to captain Ryan Frater late on but Castle expects the defender to recover in time for City's next game when league leaders Newport County visit Clarence Park a week on Saturday.
"He's just rolled his ankle," revealed the City boss. "Obviously (there's) the disappointment of not being in the Cup next week but that is the added benefit if you like that we will have two weeks to get everybody right and Frates I'm sure he'll be fine by the time of the Newport County game.
Dean Holdsworth's Newport side will provide tough opposition for City but Castle is keen for his players to concentrate on their own game and continue with their hard working approach.
"It's early days and we've got a few hard games (coming up). Newport County look like a rejuvenated team and that'll be another tough game at home and then we've got Woking and Lewes.
I say they're all going to be tough (but) we've got to concern ourselves on our application and if that three in midfield work their socks off...as a three as a unit I really don't think you're going to get much better as a midfield trio and if they can keep performing then I think we'll be ok.