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AFC Telford step up striker search

Paul Carden’s search for another striker for AFC Telford United will intensify this week, and the need for more goals was emphasised by a 3-1 defeat at promotion favourites AFC Fylde.

Paul Carden and Jamie Allen (Picture: Kieren Griffin)
Paul Carden and Jamie Allen (Picture: Kieren Griffin)

Carden has been dealt a blow with the news that last season’s leading scorer, Jason Oswell, will remain on the sidelines for an extended period, and although Carden added former FC Halifax Town forward Jamie Allen to his squad last week, Carden’s search for reinforcements will be stepped up:

“Ozzie’s going to be out for a couple of months, he’s got a stress fracture. We can’t be looking to him any time soon, so we know we need to address it, we’re trying to address it. The club are active and supportive and backing it, but in the meantime, and until we get it, there are players who have scored goals in the past who need to start chipping in and doing their bit, because there isn’t enough desire at certain times.”

Carden’s side were left playing catch-up after conceding as early as the 4th minute, and the Bucks manager wasn’t shy of recognising his team’s failings:

“We’re not scoring, and we’re not keeping the ball out, so we need to look at things. We’ve got decent enough players, but I’ve just had to ask the question in there (the dressing room), “Are we too nice?”, “Are we becoming a soft touch?”, because that’s how it feels.”

“Are we doing enough to get on the end of things? Are we busting a gut? I don’t see their centre-halves, like Browny (Matty Brown) and Harry (Flowers), at full stretch dealing with crosses coming into the box, I don’t see it. We’re not getting in there to score. It’s blatantly clear to anyone that we need a centre-forward.”

Carden was also adamant that the issue won’t be fixed by one player, but by others stepping up:

“We’ve got to start forcing the issue more. I said the other week about being a ‘nearly’ team; we’re nearly alright, but we’re not doing it, and we’ve got to look at things and to make sure that we get it right, because we’ve got to pick up wins.”

“I said to the lads, “Am I going to come in after each game and say we’ve had good spells there, but we’ve lost? I don’t want to be like that. To be honest, I’d take the ugliest win ever right now, a 1-0 off someone’s backside, all day long, but we’ve got to make sure we’re in the game to do that, to not be cheap with the goals, and to go in the box with the determination that we’re going to make something happen.”

Carden gave a debut to Coventry City loanee George Burroughs, who started at right wing-back but was switched to midfield when Carden reverted to a back four, and there was a late cameo from the bench for Jamie Allen, who didn’t get a full pre-season owing to his appearance on TV show Love Island:

“George is really versatile; he’s got loads of energy, and he’s got good quality. He’s a strong kid, a willing kid, and he was our best player today. We can’t be daft with him (Allen). He’s the type of player who is quick, he is explosive, and you can see he’s strong; we have to

work him hard but not break him, give him enough minutes so he gets his match fitness back as soon as, but he’ll definitely give us a threat.”

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