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AFC Telford boss displays a ruthless streak

Sport | Published:

AFC Telford United boss Liam Watson is expecting better from certain players after hauling off Andy Owens and Charlie Barnett at half-time against Boston.

The manager first displayed a ruthless streak by dropping Saturday's man of the match, Mike Phenix, for last night's Skrill Conference North match.

He then replaced two of his starting line-up during the break of the 1-1 draw at York Street, after giving them just 45 minutes to impose themselves on the game.

Watson felt Owens and Barnett had not performed in what was a high-paced clash, so he brought on Adam Farrell and league debutant Matthew McGinn.

Striker Owens looked jaded while Barnett has not had the benefits of a full pre-season and is still feeling his way into the standard, having never played at non-league level before.

Russell Benjamin also impressed after being brought into the team last night for Phenix and Watson warned there will be no place to hide when the going gets tough for Telford.

He said: "I walked in the changing room at half-time and said 'you and you are not doing enough, come off'. I just don't think they were giving us enough and it's about the team, not individuals.

"Andy looked shattered and Charlie just didn't get into the game. He needs more match sharpness. Sometimes, when you can't get into a game, all you need to do is graft.

"But he's got the one thing that probably no-one else in the squad has really got – he can open a team up and that will be important as the season wears on.

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"I don't ask an awful lot of the players, just give me everything you have got for 90 minutes. Telford fans had come a long way and paid good money.

"If you don't match ability with work ethic, your decent quality doesn't mean anything."

Watson was disappointed with his side on Saturday despite beating Workington 2-1 at home and the Boston display, despite only gleaning a draw, was a marked improvement.

He said: "I got the reaction I wanted. There was phenomenal work-rate all over the pitch. It's hard to pick individuals out.

"I think if anyone had offered us four points out of our first two games, we would have been happy with that.

"The start of the season is really important, you don't always play your way to the top of the league but you can play your way out of contention. We are not a million miles away."

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