Bower: We Won't Get Carried Away

Bradford Park Avenue manager Mark Bower says his side won’t get carried away with the five-match unbeaten run they are currently on.

Bower’s Avenue made it three wins and two draws from their last five with a 3-0 victory at Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday, and the Avenue boss was impressed with the display from his side.

“It was a good win and another good clean sheet,” he said.

“Gainsborough have been playing well over the last few weeks so it was never going to be easy, but when you start well and can get an early goal it can make a huge difference.

“That’s especially the case away from home as it can allow you to maybe sit back a bit more and try catch a team on the break, and we did that quite well on Tuesday night.

“We’re just really pleased with the win and it keeps the little run going, and the onus is on us now to keep it going as long as we can.”

In the last five games, Avenue have scored 10 goals and conceded just one, picking up 11 points at an average of over two points a game.

“It certainly doesn’t make for bad reading,” Bower said.

“But if you look before that, we’d scored one and conceded 10 in the three games against Southport, York and Spennymoor.

“We won’t get carried away with any kind of run that we are on, just like we didn’t get carried away with that bad run a few weeks ago.

“We’ve worked hard, gone back to being solid and making sure that we are difficult to beat.

“But then we have had a real threat going forward as well, whether we are controlling the game or whether we are having to go on the counter attack, we’ve looked dangerous.

“It’s going quite well at the minute but we have lots of games coming up, the squad is getting tested with a couple of niggles.

“We’ll have to see how everyone is going into another two games in three days this weekend as we look to keep our run going.”

Bower was especially pleased with the clean sheet given number one goalkeeper Steven Drench sat out the tie with an injury picked up at Stockport on Saturday, meaning stand-in Ed Hall made his first start of the season.

“It was a really confident display from Ed,” the Avenue manager said.

“He certainly didn’t shy away from it, coming and taking a number of crosses and distributing the ball really well.

“He’s made a couple of good, steady saves that needed to be made and what he did he did really well.

“Sometimes when your second choice goalkeeper comes in your players can become a bit wary of that but his confidence spread right through the team.

“It wasn’t even an issue to think about come the end of the game, he’s done very well for us.

“And it is great for him, he’s always wanting to play, always knocking on my door asking what he can do to be better and how he can improve himself.

“So it is good that he has got his chance and taken it, and he enjoyed it so I’m really pleased for Ed.”

After two consecutive goalless draws, Bower was particularly pleased to see his side get back on the scoresheet and end with yet another convincing result.

“It’s a funny old game really because we probably had more chances at Stockport last Saturday,” he said.

“Adam Boyes has a header from a few yards out on Saturday that he puts straight at the keeper and then on Tuesday he loops one into the top corner from 18 yards.

“Oli Johnson is the same with the goal he took on Tuesday, he scuffed a similar one at Stockport, and that’s football for you.

“Some days it goes for you and some days it doesn’t, but the main thing is that we are creating chances.

“When you are creating chances, you’ve always got the chance to win games.

“You can go through spells, like when I first joined the club, where you grind out wins by nicking the odd result here and there.

“Whereas now we look fluent and we look like we can create chances with whoever is on the pitch.

“We have had different personnel playing in different positions and they’re all doing a good job for us at the minute.

“But obviously it’s always nice when you score three goals, especially away from home.”

However the game didn’t pass without worry for Bower. With Luca Havern subbed early at the weekend and Drench also out, he saw Matt Hill, Oli Johnson and Nicky Clee all forced off during Tuesday night’s match.

“We’ve just got a couple of niggles,” Bower stated.

“Luca will only be a week or so, Hilly isn’t too bad but we will obviously have him missing for a couple of games at least.

“We took OJ off more as a precaution on Tuesday, and the same with Nicky Clee when he came off, and Drenchy could be back for the weekend.

“Coming into the season we knew that to get the quality that we needed and we wanted, then we wouldn’t be able to have the biggest squad.

“So we knew we had to get players who can play a few different positions, and you saw that on Tuesday with Nicky Clee, Javan Vidal and others who can do good jobs for us in various positions.

“This time of year when you have so many games, it is a test of your squad but hopefully we’ll have enough to get us through the next couple of weeks until it does settle down a bit.”

Next up for Avenue is a home double-header against Nuneaton and Boston, and despite yet another fine away display, Bower was keen to stress that his side aren’t going to be easy pickings on their home ground.

“It’s important not to forget that we are two unbeaten at home as well,” the Avenue boss said.

“And in those two games we’ve not conceded a goal so we’re not only playing well away from home.

“Confidence is a big thing and the lads can take a lot of confidence from how they have played recently.

“When I was a defender, I felt if I had players in the team who can take chances and score goals, then it gave me that extra boost to do well and do my job.

“And likewise the strikers, if they see their teammates being tight and resolute at the back then it gives them that little edge where they think if they score it could win us the game.

“Obviously home form is very important to us, and it’s two games in quick succession with the chance to pick up more points.

“Nuneaton and Boston are both currently below us in the table but in this league it definitely doesn’t work like that.

“You just have to look at our defeat against York followed by our win against FC United, you’d never have seen FC United going and beating York.

“You can’t take anything for granted, we’ve got to show the same application that we have been doing, and if we do that, we will get results.”

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