More to come from Heys
Wed 15th August 2018 | Prestwich Heys | By Ian Templeman
Prestwich Heys joint-manager Ryan Hutchinson is playing down the team’s good start to the season, as he believes they are capable of improving on the performances delivered so far..
For Heys, Saturday’s win over Abbey Hey in the Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round made it three wins out of three since the start of the season, but Ryan and fellow manager Jon Lyons are looking for more out of the squad.
“Of course we are pleased, I'd have taken your hand off if you had offered me that at the start of the season, six goals scored and conceded just one”, said Ryan.
“But Jon and me don't feel that so far the lads haven't been performing to anywhere near last year, so it's always a good sign when you are not playing as well as you can but getting the results. That is what it is all about, and that has to be a positive sign.
“First half against Abbey Hey, there was nothing in it at all, two set pieces for the goals. But second half, I thought we created far more, and had more control of the ball, and the second half was probably the best 45 minutes of our season”.
It is, none the less, a positive start for Heys, who of course suffered the disappointment of missing out on promotion last season, after being up among the promotion contenders from the off. But, as Ryan explained, the managers resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes over the summer.
“Last season it was one of them where it was nearly but not quite enough”, he said.
“We had set our sights early last season on being promoted, so Jon and me took that personally, as it means we failed and it wasn't good enough.
“There weren't major changes needed, just tweaks here and there. Last season we were creating chances and scoring goals for fun, but the one thing that was certain was that we needed to buck up at the back as we conceded far too many goals for my liking.
“We scored a lot but conceded far too many, and you just can't do that in these leagues, and it was the manner of the goals we conceded that was the problem.
“We gave a lot away rather than good goals being scored against us. So we have brought in experience, with Danny Meadowcroft and Connor Braithwaite to strengthen us there.
“We have got two players out at the moment, Picks (Justin Pickering) and Jordan Icely who will make us creative going forward, but they are both injured and we can't wait for them to come back. As soon as we get them going, that will be beneficial for the whole team”.
Looking ahead to the coming weeks, Ryan, Jon and the squad can now look forward to facing new clubs in the league, coupled with a home clash in the FA Cup with near neighbours Radcliffe from the Evo-Stik League Division One North a week on Saturday.
“First and foremost you concentrate on yourself, but we have been out and about and watched a few games (involving the new clubs). That makes it more exciting, it's a bit of the unknown and it’s the same for both teams.
“Obviously the teams we come up against will know where we finished last season, and lost in the play-off semi-final, so they will have a good inkling that we are a decent side anyway.
“The league is the focus, but Radcliffe in the FA Cup is a great draw. On Saturday (in the FA Cup) we beat a Premier League team in Abbey Hey, and in both games if there were odds on it we'd be the underdogs.
“Jon and me would have expected us to win against Abbey Hey, but sometimes it's nice to go in as underdogs because you can just give it a right go.
“That is what these games are all about for clubs like us. Any bit of prize money is great, and it's great for the lads too because some of them hadn't played in the FA Cup before.
“So it's a great experience for them, especially the younger lads, and they will benefit from that”.