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MANAGER: Both centre backs were excellent

Chris Beech on a solid clean sheet

9 August 2021

United’s clean sheet on Saturday means they have now conceded just one goal (in the 1-1 draw with Harrogate last April) in their last six home games, stretching back to the end of March last season.

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The home record was close to exemplary in the last campaign, and another solid defensive display suggests that the trend is set to continue, with Magnus Norman rarely troubled at the weekend.

With the disruption of the Aaron Hayden situation to contend with, the new-look central defensive pairing put on a stern performance, with both players well in the running for the man of the match award as the game drew to a close.

“They were very strong, really committed,” manager Chris Beech said. “Rod’s come back fitter, you can see that, he’s got a change of pace, he’s getting off the floor an extra yard.

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“I can’t recall him losing a header, I can’t recall him stepping back. I would have liked to keep squeezing the last 15 minutes, because we’re pushing for a winner, but in terms of defensive unit they were every good.”

“Corey Whelan slotted in really well beside him,” he added. “I told David [Holdsworth] and my staff when I went after him, he’s a very good football player who is completely consistent in all positions.

“He doesn’t have a best position, but towering headers, bringing the ball down, regaining and retaining the ball, he’s good.

“He hardly gives the ball away and really well done - both centre backs were excellent.”

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