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INTERVIEW: We handled the physical side of it well

Paul Murray on the Cumberland Cup victory over Workington

16 October 2018

We spoke to first team coach Paul Murray shortly after full time at Frenchfield Park to get his thoughts on the Cumberland Cup victory over Workington.

“Workington gave us a test, and it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against, you’ve got to stick to your game plan," he told us. "They gave us a tough test, especially at set pieces, but I thought we played really well.

"The kids were brilliant, I gave them a few instructions in terms of what I wanted from them and they carried it out perfectly.

“We had a little spell in the second half where it got a bit scrappy from both teams, but I’m really pleased with the young lads. I always felt they’d come back after we conceded the goal, and they ended up coming back twice to win, which is really pleasing.

“The running off the ball was something I’d asked from them and it was excellent. It wasn’t something we’d worked on in training, I only asked them to do certain things prior to the game on a tactics board, and they delivered. That shows they can take the information on board, which is really good."

“There were some fantastic individual performances," he continued. "I thought Birchy [Charlie Birch] put some great balls into the box. Liam [McCarron] showed us what he’s all about - he needs to pass it or lay it off sometimes - but he’s in a good vein of form at the moment, so I don’t really mind that.

"I told him before the game that people will start targeting him, some of the tackles will be late and some of them will be on purpose, so he’s going to have to look after himself.

“When that’s happening, and he’s surrounded by two or three players, that’s when he needs to know when to pass it and use his running power. It was good to see him going at the full backs when he came on against Morecambe, which is what you used to expect from ‘old-school’ wingers, but then he was crossing it with his wrong foot and he still had that willingness to stick it in with his right boot."

Speakign about the shape used for the game, he commented: “We got the back four to play really high up the pitch, and to a man I thought we did really well.

"I thought we handled the physical side of things well. I had a quick chat to the ref after the game and told him there were a few tackles he let go, but he told me that this is how it is in the Northern League.

"Fair enough, he’s right to a point, and our lads have to get used to that. We coped with it well, and I told them before the game not to show anyone they were hurt."

“Before the game we also talked about the fact that it was a cup game, which we wanted to win," he told us. "We wanted to win playing well, but the main thing was to get through to the next round.

"They have to understand that and get that winning mentality. They showed some character coming back from behind, and we created some fantastic opportunities. You could see the lads had a bit of belief about themselves and they were playing some killer balls through, so I’m really pleased for them and they should be proud of themselves.

“We had the second-year pros involved and it was important for them, because they’ve got to show us what they’re made of. The gaffer and Tommy [Wright] were here to watch, so they’ve got to take these opportunities.

“All of the lads did well today, and the young lads have got to use Liam as an example. The gaffer has done it at Oldham and other clubs, where he’s played young players.

"Liam is the one at the top of the mountain at the moment and hopefully a few of the others can climb up there with him."

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