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Selection headaches loom for Black

1 week ago By David Laughlin

The Nailers scored six goals against Dronfield Town whilst progressing to the 3rd Round of the Derbyshire Senior Cup, writes Nathaniel Kay.

“We said before the game we’ve got players good enough in the squad to coming into starting eleven. As a management team we want that toughness. We don’t want to be thinking who we are going to play because they’re not good enough” Grant Black

Cup upsets will always be at the forefront of managers’ minds and with two divisions separating the two sides, this was no different for Grant Black (pictured).

“We haven’t lost two games in a row all season, so we had an eye on that not to happen.

“We went out tonight to be professional and I thought the lads did that really well,’ said the boss after his team’s largest winning margin of the campaign.

‘We were very careful tonight in telling the lads to ‘keep it realistic’ as it’s too easy to get into a training game mentality.”

Darol Lucas opened the scoring from right back, along with Derry Robson and a Craig Nelthorpe spot kick to accompany Kai Hancock’s hard earned hat-trick.

It was the latter who sparkled in a side that shone with swagger on the night and Black was beaming at the striker’s performance, saying. “He works hard, and is a great finisher as you’ve seen tonight.

“It was good to get 90 minutes out of him and once we get him match fit, he’ll be one that the fans will really like for those reasons.’

“We are excited that he got himself a hat-trick which will give him and the team confidence.

“I thought we looked really threatening going forward and we probably could and should have had a few more.”

In the end of a one-sided affair Black added, “In games like the one today you get that extra bit of space to give you the chance to show your range of passing or your dribbling ability”.

The Belper manager continued, “I think the lads did that - they had a ten-minute spell when they were sluggish and we spoke about that at half time.

“But we kicked on in the second half and we were much more professional from there.”

A clean sheet, only a fifth of the campaign, was also appreciated but Black felt that this is not a true reflection of how effectively the backline has performed at times.

“The frustrating thing for us is we very rarely get carved open and concede a good goal against us but we’ve conceded too many for our liking, and goals we feel we shouldn’t be conceding.

“Any clean sheet is going to breed confidence for a back four who looked very solid.’

Team selection has never been straightforward for Black, having yet to name the same starting line up in successive fixtures all season and Tuesday’s performance will not make Saturday’s choices any easier.

Earning the match ball, Hancock will be the standout headache, yet Danny Gordon and Darol Lucas also made strong claims to be starting against Tadcaster Albion at the weekend.

Whilst this is a reflection of the strength in depth that Black has crafted, he is relishing the difficult decisions ahead.

"We said before the game we’ve got players good enough in the squad to coming into starting eleven. As a management team we want that toughness. We don’t want to be thinking who we are going to play because they’re not good enough.

“We’ve got a good headache for Saturday but that is what keeps players on their toes.”

A difficult set of Evo-Stik League games now awaits the Nailers with Tadcaster Albion first up followed by Frickley Athletic.

Yet Black concluded, “Confidence should be high going into Saturday based on where are and where the clubs been over recent years.

“There is a buzz around the club and that win on Tuesday night will give us that extra boost and a spring in our step.”

Updated 17:30 - 7 Nov 2018 by David Laughlin

Where next?

Belper maintain climb up the table. Belper Town’s terrific climb up the table continued after a sterling 1-1 draw with Morpeth Town, leaders of the pack, writes Nathaniel Kay.
Black bemoans first half performance Belper met their match as Tadcaster handed the Nailers a 3-1 defeat that could be described as a ‘game of two halves', writes Nathaniel Kay

Fixtures
Sat 17 Nov
a
First Team Frickley Athletic
League 15:00
Tue 20 Nov
h
First Team AFC Mansfield
Cup 19:45
Sat 24 Nov
h
First Team Loughborough Dynamo
League 15:00

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