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Signs AFC Telford United are on 'right track' insists Paul Carden

A fourth defeat in a row clearly wasn’t the result AFC Telford United sought, but manager Paul Carden felt their 2-1 home defeat by Boston United showed signs that his team are on the right track.

Nathan Blissett gets a head on the ball (Kieran Griffin)
Nathan Blissett gets a head on the ball (Kieran Griffin)

Defeat to Step 4 team Chasetown in the Emirates FA Cup last week had brought Carden to a nadir in his tenure as manager, but the performance, if not the outcome, gave him a less pessimistic outlook:

“Last week I was really down, as low as I’ve been. This week I’m obviously gutted we’ve lost, but I’m a lot happier with how we’ve applied ourselves. There are improvements to be made, but when the team work as hard as they did and when there are some good individual performances, like there was, then I’m not going to be too down.”

The Bucks looked more resolute but were undone by two goals between the 57th and 60th minutes. Although misjudgements and errors from his own team were as much to blame, Carden seemed more philosophical about them than of late:

“It’s so disappointing, the first goal, because I feel it’s a cheap free-kick the ref’s given them, one of many. Piggo (Jordan Piggott) sticks his head out, Pilly (Luke Pilling) is right behind it, ready to catch it, but as a defender you try to block it, and it’s ended up in the corner.”

“It was a mistake, probably the only one he made, from Boody (Brad Bood) with his header, for the second, and you think “Here we go again”, but we responded really well. We scored not long after and we needed that little bit of composure to make the opportunities and the chances we had count. We were really pushing; I don’t think anyone could question the effort or the work rate, but it was that last bit to make it count.”

Liam Nolan reduced the deficit within 4 minutes of Boston’s second goal, smashing in a penalty kick awarded for a foul on Jamie Allen; however, the Bucks couldn’t force a second goal in front of a crowd of less than 1,000, a legacy of recent disappointments.

Carden feels some of that was down to composure, and the contribution that confidence makes to players doing what comes naturally rather than snatching at opportunities or making the wrong decisions

“You’ve got lads out there who want to do the right things and are trying to do the right things and sometimes form affects your contact on the ball and what you do, because sport is about confidence. Those little things that make the difference are just away from us because of confidence, but I couldn’t fault anyone’s effort and application, everyone was at it. The lads have had a right today.”

Carden’s team face Brackley Town on Tuesday evening, again at the New Buck’s Head, and with growing disquiet amongst some fans surfacing, but the manager’s instructions to his group were simple:

“We keep working, that’s the only thing you do in this situation. I’ve told them to dust themselves down, recover right, and get ready, because if we work as hard as we did today, I don’t think we’ll be on the end of too many defeats with what we’ve got, because confidence will grow.”

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