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City boss demands stubborn streak
11:30am Monday 16th December 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER City manager Carl Heeley says his players have to rediscover their stubborn streak as they battle against relegation from Skrill North.
Despite being in the division’s bottom three, City have built their campaign on a dogged defensive effort that has seen them keep 12 clean sheets in all competitions.
But they have now leaked six goals in two matches following last Saturday’s 4-1 FA Trophy second round defeat at Aldershot and the 2-0 league loss against Oxford City.
Coupled with their struggle for goals, it is a mixture that Heeley knows has to be rectified sooner rather than later.
He said: “We’re out of the two major cup competitions and we’re in a relegation scrap and we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and get on with it.
“We’ve got to get back to being a difficult side to beat because we’ve conceded six goals in the last two games and none of them were good goals.
“We should also be making more of our breaks, we broke in good numbers at Aldershot and had some great situations.
“We had at least 10 corners and struggled to get something on the end of those and that’s the difference.”
He added: “I thought we scored a really good goal to get 1-0 up but then we were guilty of ball watching for their first goal and for the second we tried to play our way out and suddenly we were then 2-1 down.
“I thought we looked quite comfortable before that and we kept going but the third goal we conceded was not the greatest.”
Worcester’s cause was not helped by skipper Graham Hutchison having to go off at the weekend after aggravating an ankle problem, while right-back George Williams suffered a muscle strain and had to be replaced.
However, centre-half Shabir Khan has finished his two-game ban and should be back in contention for this Saturday’s visit of Harrogate Town at Aggborough.
Richard Munday’s appearance as a sub for Hutchison was also his first since October 19 following a hamstring injury.
Heeley said: “Graham had a kick on the ankle in the same place he did against Oxford. We’ve got to consider him a doubt and George Williams was feeling a bit tight so we’ll have to see how he settles down as well.
“Losing two defenders, we are a little bit light in that area but on the positive side, Shabir Khan should be back available to us having completed his suspension.”
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