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Howarth Urges Everyone To Keep Believing

13 October 2018

Caretaker manager Neil Howarth admitted his side were hard done by after suffering a 1-0 defeat away to Tranmere Rovers on Friday evening.

The Silkmen had looked worthy of at least a point as they battled valiantly, but were undone by a second-half strike from Harvey Gilmour.

 Howarth insisted that his team stuck to the game plan well and were unfortunate to not bring three points back to the Moss Rose.

We wanted to come here and dominate the ball,” said Howarth,

“It’s a tough place to come, but we wanted to take the game to the opposition and we wanted to starve them of the ball. 

“We wanted to keep possesion and create opportunities - that's whatnwe did.

“The game couldn’t have gone any better really. I thought we were on top, we looked like we were going to score and then, from somewhere out the blue, we were a goal down. 

“I don’t think anybody can tell me they deserved that at all.”

The Silkmen looked to have taken the lead 15 minutes in when a deep free-kick from Michael Rose was headed in by Peter Vincenti, however the linesman on the far side held his flag up to deny the midfielder from grabbing his second goal within a week.

The gut feeling is sometimes they’re wrong and I thought it was a goal, but it wasn’t and it is what it is at the end of the day.

“We’ve had two games this week; Tuesday and Friday. It’s been difficult to get the lads on the training ground and really work at what we wanted. 

“Between myself and Danny, we’ve had a lot more dialogue with the players rather than having them on the grass. 

“So for them to pick up what we’ve been asking of them in such a short space of time, as I say without practicing it on the grass, I thought they were excellent.”

With time proving to be a limited commodity for Howarth and Whitaker, the pair have done their best to instill a positive mentality within the dressing room to ensure that progress is made on the pitch.

We’re just encouraging them to keep believing,” claimed Howarth,

“You can’t go from where we are at the bottom of the league, just to play unbelievable football and score loads of goals and win. 

“There’s got to be a progression, and we’ve saw that today and the lads have been first class this week.

“It felt like we were on top and we were going to win the game - Tranmere weren’t particularly hurting us. 

“We’ve been at games this season where our goal has been under siege and our 'keeper's have been having to make save after save after save. 

“Rhys had one save where we let them in, but apart from that it was pretty quiet. 

“I really genuinely thought we were going to go on and get the victory.”

Despite the disappointing result, Friday nights fixture marked a debut appearance for summer signing Ben Stephens.

The forward replaced Tyrone Marsh with five minutes remaining and although Stephens was unable to make the desired impact, his arrival on the First Team scene is a massive boost for a squad that have been plagued with injuries.

He’s a talented player,” stated Howarth.

“He’s got a lot of work to do, he’s had a couple of injuries and I think he’s found adapting to full time football a little difficult but he’s there now. 

“He’s back fit and he’s had a good couple of weeks. 

“It was a big ask for a young kid to come on and try to get the equalising goal, but he’s doing the right things in training - as have the rest of the lads as well.

“We’re getting bodies back in the squad, and the squad is getting stronger.”

With the season gathering momentum, missed opportunities come of a greater consequence and Howarth knows all to well about what it takes to grind out results in such a tough division.

We’ve got to have a siege mentality, and I think we have at the moment. 

“The siege mentality was shown between the squad of players we’ve got and the subs that weren’t on the pitch today willing the lads on, wanting them to do well.

“We’ve got a great bunch of staff who are trying to do everything they can to get out of this predicament, and we’ve just had a few hundred odd fans that have seen what’s happened today and hopefully they’re part of that siege mentality.

“We’re all in it together and we can all ensure this club starts making strides forward this season.”

The Silkmen must now prepare for two vital home clashes against Carlisle United and Northampton Town, and the players will have an extra days rest available to them as they prepare to return to the Moss Rose on Saturday.

And Howarth acknowledges their home form is crucial if they are to start climbing the league table.

We’ve not took off at home yet this season.

“We’re looking forward to having a good week with the lads, me and Danny have been talking about it - we want to spend time on the training ground with the lads, we want to share messages with them. 

“They’re going to have a weekend off now, they’re going to come in Monday working hard.

“Danny’s going to Carlisle, I’m going to Northampton and we’re going to prepare the best we can and as professionally as we can and just see where it takes us.”

Of course, Macclesfield Town finds a way of doing it sometimes when everybody writes you off. 

“And if people want to write us off then brilliant, let them. 

“People inside this club and hopefully supporters can see that we’re not finished.”


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