Squad’s good habits pleases St Albans City boss Ian Allinson
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Ian Allinson says the squad assembled at St Albans City this season has already got themselves into “good habits”.
A win and draw in their opening two National League South games, plus two victories in the FA Cup, followed nine games without defeat in pre-season.
And the boss says the longer than usual prelude to the competitive year has had an effect.
“It’s been OK,” he said. “There is a lot of room for improvement still but pre-season was good.
“It was longer than usual but it gave us time to bed everyone in and get used to each other.
“We added three more games [against National League sides Wealdstone, Sutton United and King’s Lynn Town] and they were great for us going into the season.
“I still felt we were half a yard off it against Hitchin but I’ve always said you need five or six games to get up to speed with any sort of football.
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“But we did look sharp against Mickleover and the extra three games in pre-season have probably helped.
“We originally were meant to start on September 12 and would we have been ready then? Maybe not.
“The three games against the National League sides helped.
“All three started quickly and we have had to learn to stay in the game and then we can grow into it.
“Last season we may have been out of it in the first 15 minutes.
“We’ve now gone 13 games since pre-season and not lost. That’s a good habit and we’ve only conceded seven goals. That’s a good habit too.
“Everything we were weak at last year we’ve managed to stem.
“I’d just like us convert a lot more of the opportunities we are creating.”
The squad is slightly bigger than in previous years but that gives Allinson the option to change things round.
And he is delighted with the strength of the teams shown so far, saying there is probably more to come too.
He said: “With the squad we’ve got I’m quite comfortable in leaving three or four out and bringing three or four in as we did at Concord on Saturday.
“We can change it around and we were a bit unfortunate [against Concord].
“They put us under a lot of pressure in the first half but we came out in the second half and expressed ourselves.
“We had the man sent off but could have won the game.
“Players like Kyran Wiltshire and Daid Noble want the ball all the time and retain good possession.
“We’ve got two really attacking full-backs or two really good defensive full-backs.
“Playing Tom Bender at centre-half helped David Longe-King last season and it has certainly helped James Kaloczi and Joy Mukena this year.
“People like Michael Clark haven’t had an opportunity yet which is a shame as he is a really good defender.
“But that is how the squad is. We’ve had Chid Onokwai and Romeo Akinola out with injury although both are close to getting back.
“We haven’t seen the best of them and we saw what they did for Haringey last year so they are certainly going to be big parts of what we are doing.
“Joe Chidyausiku has come off the bench and been a handful in terms of changing the games.
“He scored against Hitchin and nearly scored against Concord.”