Castle delighted with response

PUBLISHED: 13:16 18 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 May 2010

Steve Castle is delighted with the way his players have responded to their opening day defeat.

Steve Castle is delighted with the way his players have responded to their opening day defeat.

STEVE Castle is delighted with the way his side have responded since their opening day defeat at Dorchester. The Saints have recorded two wins from two since their opening day horror-showing down in Dorset and Castle believes the players deserve praise fo

STEVE Castle is delighted with the way his side have responded since their opening day defeat at Dorchester.

The Saints have recorded two wins from two since their opening day horror-showing down in Dorset and Castle believes the players deserve praise for the way they've worked to turn things around.

Saturday's win over Eastleigh showed that the team can compete with the league's top clubs and the City boss was pleased with the player's commitment.

"It was the response from the lads as much as anything else. It wasn't a dramatic change in personnel but each and every one of them in each of the two games has given 110 percent and you can't ask for much more than that," said Castle after Saturday's game.

"(At Dorchester) We didn't turn up, yes we played ok, and it's well documented that I said first 20-25 minutes, but we never looked like scoring if I'm honest and we were quite comprehensively beaten but the response that we've given is pleasing."

Castle described City's 2-1 defeat of the Spitfires as a 'valuable win' and the City chief believes there won't be too many teams taking points off of Ian Baird's side this season.

"I think they will be one of the favoured sides. They'll be there or thereabouts - they're a very strong team. I don't think there will be too many teams that will take points off them. I class that as a valuable win."

City have adopted a 4-3-3 formation this season built around the exciting midfield trio of Solomon Shields, James Fisher and Luke Thurlborune and Castle revealed it's his main aim to keep all three players in the side.

"I'm not averse to 4-4-2. We haven't got many wingers at the club, obviously Danny Green is a winger by trade, but he's slotted in very, very well in the (front) three but my ultimate thing really is to keep James Fisher, Solomon Shields and Luke Thurlbourne on the football pitch. I think 4-3-3 has sprung upon us rather than us looking for it really."

Goalkeeper Paul Bastock produced another display that showed why he is so vital to City's cause and Castle stated that there was nobody else he'd rather have between the sticks this season.

"I love him to pieces, he doesn't come in for training (because) he lives so far away but there was no way that I wanted him away from this football club. He had more lucrative offers from elsewhere but I think the feeling is mutual and it's great we've got him to call upon. He's a great lad and I can't speak any higher of him.

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