Fri, 15. Dec. 2017

Club in good spirits ahead of Millers clash

This Saturday Sheffield FC host Carlton Town in another crucial game at the lower end of the Evo-Stik First Division South, writes Luke Phelps, whilst The Star's Paul Webster caught up with manager Mark Shaw for his thoughts.

Club broke their dismal away record last weekend as they thumped promotion hopefuls Cleethorpes Town 4-0. The victory was Sheffield’s first away one of the season, with a brace from striker Andrew Gascoigne and goals too for Ben Algar and debutant Rob Worrall.

With 7 points from the last 5 games, Mark Shaw's side are slowly climbing to safety. Their last home game however was one to forget, losing 2-0 to fellow strugglers Gresley. Goals do not seem to be a problem for Club who have netted 12 in 5 games, but have conceded 10 in the same time. 

Opponents Carlton Town will have to shake off the dust as they prepare for their trip to The Coach & Horses, having played just 2 games in the past month. Postponed fixtures mean Carlton have 4 games in hand over Sheffield, but haven’t won since the start of November. On the road, Carlton have been relatively impressive with wins over Spalding and Peterborough earlier in the season, accumulating almost half their points away from home.

Sheffield are 2 places behind Carlton in 18th, but a win on Saturday could see Club leapfrog their opponents into 16th. After Saturday’s win at Cleethorpes, Sheffield are now 6 points clear of the relegation spot.

The one-to-watch this weekend is skipper Danny Elliot. A fan favourite at Carlton, Danny Elliot has bagged a handful of important goals from midfield this season, and will be looking to pull the string against Sheffield on Saturday.

Speaking before the fixture, manager Mark Shaw has said: “After last weekend’s win, we are all fully rested and in good spirits ahead of the game on Saturday.”

Since his appointment, Shaw has been busy in the transfer market and is still looking to add to his squad: “We are looking to possibly bring a couple of players in over the week, but the deals may not be finalised in time.”

“Our priority is to get away from the bottom half of the table and we have that opportunity as we play teams that are around us over the Christmas period,” said Shaw.

“It’s not always a good thing as the other teams like us are also fighting to pull away from the bottom end of the table, so there is a little more pressure on you to get a result. We’ve done well against the better teams in the division when there isn’t as much pressure on us. We have just come off the back of a fantastic win at Cleethorpes We we’re unlucky to lose at Alvechurch and against leaders Basford United and picked up a good point at Stamford."

"The next few games though can put us in a good position by the end of December. We have to make sure we go out apply ourselves in the right way, put on a performance and show what we’re all about if we do that we’ll be alright. We’ve been playing catch up a little since I came in, and I think in some respects we still are, but we’ve got a good group of players here that play in the right way."

“We’re been working hard on trying create things in the opponents’ half and stopping the opposition scoring.

“Carlton are a decent side, they’ll come here and try and catch us on the break, so we have to make sure we don’t let our concentration levels slip.”

Shaw was full of praise for his players following what in many people’s eyes was an unexpected three-points at Cleethorpes.

“The lads were fantastic, I can’t praise them enough,” he said.

“I don’t think the game should had been played, there was areas of the pitch that were frozen, and I made my feelings known before the game.

“I think they looked at our position in the table and that we’d come off a bad result against Gresley and wanted to get the game played. But we’ve done a number on them, we were fitter, sharper and in fairness could have scored more goals there was little doubt we were worthy winners.”

Furthermore, Shaw is expecting a fully fit squad for Saturday’s game, with James Gregory is the only injury doubt after being taken off as precaution at Cleethorpes after feeling his hamstring, the game kicks off at 3pm at The Coach & Horses.

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