Whitley were 2-0 winners at Sunderland RCA last night and manager Nick Gray summed up the performance concisely. “Three points, a clean sheet and the lads kept on going to the end, that’s the three positives for me.
“I think myself we could have played better. We knew we were on a hiding to nothing tonight. No disrespect to them, but they’ve had a tough start and going into the game they needed a reaction and to be absolutely fair I thought they got a reaction from the team.
“We scored goals at the right time which gave us a lift. I thought that second half we would step on it a bit and improve, but credit to them I thought they were the better side second half.
“The lads gave it their all. This time of the season it’s just about finding ways of trying to win games of football.”
Looking at the early season schedule, with teams playing as many as eight games before the end of August, he commented “I can’t believe how when the season lasts nine months you play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday through August. I think it’s crazy. Why not play one midweek game a month through the whole season? I know there’d be a few extra games to fit in as well. Playing all these games at the start of the season, let’s be honest, no team’s got a full squad to pick from. You’ve got to remember this is part time football. Lads have got to have holidays and a lot of them take holidays at this time of the year, so every club’s in the same boat. I don’t understand the reasoning why, considering there’s another eight months left of the season.
“I thought the first half we had quite a bit of time on the ball and we made wrong decisions when we could have moved it quick. We didn’t because we stopped making the runs. The grass is long, it held it up for both sides. But put it this way, it’s a better position than what it was seven days ago with midweek results.
“Give them (Sunderland RCA) credit, they kept on going. They worked hard and they’ll take positives, but as I say, the positive for us was we kept on going to the end, we got three points and we kept a clean sheet. Onwards to Saturday now!”