COACHES’ CORNER: Tim Flowers Previews Coalville Town

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Ahead of Saturday’s league match, away at Coalville Town (3:00 KO), manager Tim Flowers has spoken about the Needham win, Stanley Anaebonam & Finn Howell, and tomorrow’s game itself. He starts with a personal update, after missing last weekend’s game through illness…

“I’m currently eating a chocolate biscuit so that’s a good sign! But I’m fine – I must admit, when I watched the Needham game back on Sunday afternoon, it perked me up no end because the first half was magnificent. It made me feel a lot better!

Before Needham, we showed the lads a little bit of footage on the opposition as always – a few set pieces, strengths and weaknesses and things like that and I just said to them that there’s no need to fear anybody. They are going to lose the odd football match but the way they’ve conducted themselves, the way they’ve played and the effort they’ve put in, they don’t have to worry about that. I told them to grab the bull by the horns and have a right good go at them – they’re top of the league, so we had nowt to lose.

To be honest, if a groundhopper had walked in at kick off and didn’t know who the teams were, they wouldn’t really have known who was top and who was down the bottom end.

I have stressed to the lads that we’ve got some really good players here and we’ve got to believe that. They can look at each other, around the dressing room, and take strength from the fact that when they look at a mate next to them, they can think ‘yeah, he’s a good player, he’s got my back’.

We’ve got one or two big lads who can throw themselves around a little bit so, in the physical stakes as well, we shouldn’t worry about being bullied. I thought we were terrific; we played and got the ball into good areas and got lots of crosses in and attempts at goal and won lots of set plays and restarts. A tremendous effort and a tremendous result, but that was put to bed on Tuesday and we move on.

When you looked at it prior to Needham, it was three really quite daunting games – already we’ve shown we can handle that, so now we go into the Bank Holiday with renewed hope and we’ll go to Coalville and give it our best shot. I don’t think we’ve ever beaten them, so we’ll give it as good a go as we can.

I’ve seen Stanley (Anaebonam) live quite a few times. I like him; he’s a big, rangey, tall lad, who can carry the ball up the pitch. He can dribble and he’s got good technical ability. He has had an injury this year, so he’s been out for a period of time, but we’ve got six games left and he’s a quality operator at this level, so hopefully he’ll be a real asset to the squad. Whether I go in deep with him this Saturday or I wait, I will have a little think about, because the deal only got over the line on Thursday morning – which was a real bonus.

At this moment in time, other than Callum King-Harmes, I think we’re mob handed. He’s out for the rest of the season so, other than that, everybody’s available for selection as we speak.

In terms of Finn Howell leaving, Billy (Shaw) can play in that position and has done. When you play with wing-backs, Finn was a defensive-type wing back, but he was beginning to really gallop on and show an attacking side. That angle of his game was coming.

The other option is an attacking wing back, who is a winger if you like. That opens up Anaebonam, Miro Pais, Shaq Leachman-Whittingham – we’ve got a few possibly who are probably more attack minded and what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts. What’s a winger going to be like defensively, coming back the other way? But it is what it is – you have to have a look sometimes to be able to make a judgement. We’ve set a few practices up at training and we’ll have a look at people in those positions and I’ll probably keep my cards close to my chest until Saturday and name the team when we get to Coalville. Obviously, we’ll then react to what we see at Coalville, see bumps, bruises, tiredness and all that and then pick a team for Telford.

I know that Coalville, without a shadow of a doubt, have got players that can really hurt you. For some period of time, they’ve had a really strong team there – that’s been emphasised by good cup runs. I remember them last season, in the FA Cup, going down to Charlton and scoring. They’re also always in and around the play off positions.

Undoubtedly, I realise and respect their threat. I know Ian King (Manager) quite well because he came in and helped me when I was at Stratford – he’s a really good lad and a very good coach. Him and Brian ‘Buggsy’ Burrows (Assistant Manager) are both top drawer coaches, so they’ll be well drilled. They play through the thirds, from the goalkeeper, and they’re a ball-based team.

We know that we are going to possibly have long periods of the game without the ball. We’ve got to make sure that we’re tight, compact, resolute and then, when we get it, hurt them, and hurt them quickly. We’ve got to set up our restarts, use our physicality, and try and make it as difficult as we can for them but, as I said, I don’t think we need to fear anyone. I think we can go in now and have a pop at everybody.”

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