With our gaffer selfishly being on his holiday the last week (we only joke Wayne), we spoke to assistant manager James Gilbey who took charge of our last two games against West Auckland and Belmont United. James gives us his thoughts on yesterdays game, the team as a whole, their progression and upcoming fixtures.
What are your thoughts on yesterdays game? It was a big improvement on last week and we were perhaps unlucky not to salvage at least a draw.
Last weeks performance levels were unacceptable... we talk about about standards and we know we were no where near. We talked as a group and we were determined to make up for that against a good undefeated Belmont team.
My thoughts on the game was that there wasn't much between the teams if I'm honest. I think we had large spells of possession, we were hard to break down, controller the midfield, played some expansive football when we got it down and played well, but it's very obvious we're struggling to find the back of the net at the moment.
They took their chance, (which came from our own mistake) and our keeper made two cracking saves, but we had equally as many chances denied by woodwork, clearance off the line and arguably two penalty appeals which for me one definitely was, but we can't rely on this and need to be doing enough ourselves and just need a bit of luck
We’ve got quite a few players due to return into the squad who were missing yesterday or in recent weeks, with the likes of Yusuf Kareem returning from suspension, Brett Chapman, Junior Masandi, Preston Gredziak, Brandon Gredziak and a few more. It must be great getting back some depth to the squad, but does it cause any good problems to have around selection/tactics/shape etc?
Yusef has been a big miss for us, with his ability to control games with a calm approach on the ball, Brett and Junior...well we could of done with the likes of them today and their striker instincts around the 6 yard box. As for the Gredziak boys... well you know what you get from them, its aggression, commitment and desire to win and all of them boys add to a very competitive squad which is brilliant in one sense and a managers nightmare in the other. But it is a great problem to have.
How have you found things so far this season for Durham City. Are you happy with how things are progressing with the team?
I've personally enjoyed my time with the club so far. There's so many people who are working tirelessly to try and make Durham City successful again and I'm proud to be part of that. As a team we aren't a million miles away from where we want to be... we just need to keep working hard, keep high standards and I'm sure the positive results will come.
The lads have a cup match next weekend against Sunderland RCA Reserves. How will the coaching staff prepare for this? It would be nice to potentially challenge for some silverware, but would you prefer to focus solely on the league? It’s a tough one to balance.
Yes, a cup game next week against a Sunderland team which should not be underestimated. But for me like I say to the boys every week, let's worry about us and our preparations and doing things right because if we do, I feel we've a chance of having a good run in the cup. Which wouldn't that great for everyone involved? The players, fans and committee if we can achieve something for this club. Leagues our bread and butter, believe me, come Saturday our minds are on it and we will want to win just like any other game.
And lastly, do you have a message for the fans and supporters?
Yes, I just want to say thanks for the number of fans we've seen back supporting the lads. It's been pleasing to see and the lads appreciate it massively.
Please keep coming along, supporting Durham City and join us on our journey.