Freedom key to St Albans’ resounding cup win

St Albans City's caretaker manager Harry Wheeler

St Albans City's caretaker manager Harry Wheeler - Credit: Archant

Caretaker boss Harry Wheeler made a number of changes to the formation against Oxhey but he felt his St Albans City side played with freedom and energy.

He said: “When you’re down the bottom and you’re not quite firing in the league, the first thing you need is to back each other up and work hard. And that’s what we did.

“We wanted to put a bit of energy in there. When I sat down on Sunday when I knew I was taking the game, I looked at what strengths we’ve got, not what I wanted to play, but what suits our team.

“It was not necessarily fitting the best players in but fitting the best players for the shape and making sure it was balanced and organised.”

He added: “I don’t get infatuated with my own team and think they are better than they are. But I do know they are better than where we are in the league in terms of individuals and a squad.

“So I told them to relax and go and enjoy it, which gives them the lease to go and express themselves.

“All I asked was if we’re giving you that licence to go and play, you have to give us that work rate. And they certainly did that.”

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He also praised two-goal debutant Jonathan Edwards.

He said: “He made a difference because he turned things the other way and he gave us a different outlet.

“He kept looking to be on the front foot and get in behind.

“I thought overall he did well, got his two goals and showed a lot of promise.

“The lad’s only 18 and he’s definitely got a bright future.

The one blackspot on the performance was Harry Crawford’s red card but Wheeler says there will be no further action against the player.

He said: “He apologised to me straight away. It happens. It’s not ideal, I’m not defending it, it’s not good enough but we’ve addressed it.

“He’s a very honest player and it probably comes from frustration that he’s not been getting his goals.

“But his goals will come and when he gets one, he’ll get 10 or 12.

“He knows that and we’ll keep working with him and get the best out of him.”