‘To win any game of football you’ve got to work harder than the opposition’ - Allinson sets challenge to St Albans City players

PUBLISHED: 07:05 12 March 2018

Solomon Sambou works hard to keep the ball. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Solomon Sambou works hard to keep the ball. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

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Ian Allinson has called on his players to fire St Albans City into the Vanarama National South play-offs – by working much harder than they have done of late.

Zane Banton looks to cross the ball. Picture: BOB WALKLEYZane Banton looks to cross the ball. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

The Saints manager questioned his side for the first time this season after a limp performance for the majority of the 1-0 defeat to Truro City at Clarence Park on Saturday.

He still maintains that the squad has the quality to reach the end-of-season showdown but only if they show their steel in the final 11 games.

He said: “You only get out of football what you put into it.

“I think a few of our players have got carried away with recent performances and where we are in the table.

Kieran Monlouis tries to create space. Picture: BOB WALKLEYKieran Monlouis tries to create space. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

“And they have got to realise that to win any game of football you’ve got to work harder than the opposition.

“And for us to stay in the play-offs we’ve got to work harder than everyone else because they are all working hard to get in there.

“We have to work hard, compete for everything, out battle our opponents both as a team and individually.

“And if we do that our quality will come through but you can’t just turn up and expect that quality to carry you through.

Rhys Murrell-Williamson has a shot. Picture: BOB WALKLEYRhys Murrell-Williamson has a shot. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

“I’ve not questioned any players before but at some stage they have to realise they have to take responsibility for their own performance.

“You have to be responsible for your own preparations and make sure you finish the game off correctly.”

The City side get an immediate chance to show their desire for the fight when they travel to Hungerford Town tonight (Monday) for the first of three consecutive away games.

It is the rearranged fixture after the first attempt on February 10 was postponed because for a waterlogged pitch just 15 minutes before kick-off.

Truro manage to smother the ball as Tom Bender puts their defence under pressure. Picture: BOB WALKLEYTruro manage to smother the ball as Tom Bender puts their defence under pressure. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

And with a similarly wet surface expected at Bulpit Lane, Allinson knows it will be a tough game.

He said: “It’s one of them that could make or break our season. If we turn up like we did [against Truro] and don’t perform and don’t reach the level we have done in previous weeks, then we are going to find it difficult to pick up maximum points.

“We’re in the play-offs and teams are not going to let you win games of football without working hard.

“So we have to earn the right to win a game of football.

St Albans City lost 1-0 to Truro City at Clarence Park in Vanarama National League South. Picture: BOB WALKLEYSt Albans City lost 1-0 to Truro City at Clarence Park in Vanarama National League South. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

“And I think if we work harder than the opposition, we have the quality to win a game of football.”

The play-offs remain the main goal for the season but there was a sense of frustration in Allinson’s voice after the Truro loss, a frustration probably born from what he believes City are capable of.

“I’ve said it already this season; I don’t see why we cannot go and win the league,” he admitted.

“I think we’ve got a squad here who can win the league but at the moment we’ve got a group of players who, when they turn up are unbelievable.

“But when they don’t turn up they are quite average.

“That’s what we’ve got to deal with.

“I still believe we can win the league but we have to have a consistency when we play the lower sides.

“There are 11 games to go and I think we need to win half of those and I think if we do that we’ll be in the play-offs because they are still so many teams involved and they will all take points off each other.

“But it’s going to be tough and we’ve got to find if we’ve got the backbone to go and finish it off.

“Unfortunately if we drop points like against Truro we’ve got no chance.”

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