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Telford v Darlington: Paul Carden expects Bucks to be better in both boxes

Manager Paul Carden has called on his AFC Telford United to be more ruthless in both penalty boxes.

Nathan Blissett (16) (AFC Telford United Striker) coming on replacing Prince Ekpolo (14) (AFC Telford United Midfielder)(Pic: Kieren Griffin Photography).
Nathan Blissett (16) (AFC Telford United Striker) coming on replacing Prince Ekpolo (14) (AFC Telford United Midfielder)(Pic: Kieren Griffin Photography).

The Bucks, 21st after seven National League North fixtures, welcome seventh-placed Darlington in a key New Bucks Head fixture tomorrow.

Carden’s side have not won in six, going back to a 1-0 opening-day home win over Chorley and know only a victory will move them away from the bottom four and get their season motoring.

Telford are the division’s second-lowest scorers with just four goals from seven games – one better off than Bradford PA’s three. Carden has admitted it is ‘painfully obvious’ that the club secure the services of another centre-forward to boost their firepower and take some spotlight away from Nathan Blissett while Jason Oswell is out injured.

Carden is also unconvinced his side are doing enough from a defensive perspective. Just three teams have shipped more than the Bucks’ 11 goals. The boss feels his defence is too easily got at.

“There are parts of our play which have been good,” Carden explained. “But it is just in both boxes preventing crosses and shots and busting a gut to get on the end of our own crosses.

“What we do from box to box doesn’t really have any significance.

“We probably have more of the ball and made more passes but we come away with a 3-1 loss so there is one stat that matters and we haven’t had enough of the right side of that.

“So there are some players you have come in and performed well.

“And others have not performed as we know they can. The form of a few has been inconsistent which is the way we’ve been.

“We need to keep working at it there are a lot of new faces in there.

“We need to work on our strengths and try to cut out these daft mistakes that are costing us.”

Darlington, managed by ex-Blyth Spartans boss Alun Armstrong, have opened up with three wins and two draws from seven.

Carden is weighing up handing a full debut to one of his latest recruits, attacker Jamie Allen, who enjoyed a short cameo from the bench at AFC Fylde last weekend

The manager brought in loan signing George Burroughs, who turns 20 later this month, from Championship outfit Coventry City last week and Carden hailed the versatile teen, who played right-wing-back and central midfield at Fylde, as his team’s best performer last time out.

“We wanted to have the options,” the manager added. “I feel that we are just a little bit up and down at the minute we need consistency.

“That is what players want but that is what a manager wants as well.

“I want to know that what I am picking is performing but at the minute we have had indifferent performances throughout.

“It sort of follows on from individual performances as well.”

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