Clean sheets are vital if you want to win football matches.
I’ve mentioned it a few times this season.
When I played under Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers in 2006, one of the things that he drilled it into us all was the importance of keeping a clean sheet in a match.
That way you only need the one key chance, which leads to a goal, to win the match.
Yes, you could say it’s a negative tactic, but it works, and we’re in a business where winning football matches is the priority.
Unfortunately, we didn’t do this on Saturday in a match which, on paper at least, we should have comfortably won.
A 2-2 home draw with bottom-of-the-table North Ferriby United was the final outcome and I was bitterly disappointed with the result.
It was a match which I expected three points from, as was the draw with Darlington last week, to continue with our push to reach the National League North play-off places.
Following on from Big Sam’s ethos, I’ve tried to bring it to Chorley, and it shows.
Defensively, we’re the second strongest in the league, having conceded only 26 goals in 27 matches.
Unfortunately, on Saturday this wasn’t the case and one or two of the lads held their hands up in the dressing room at full-time, admitting they made mistakes which lead to North Ferriby’s two goals.
At the other end of the pitch, we created countless chances in the match to go on and win, but just weren’t able to finish them at key points, and that’s frustrating.
That has been a thorn in our side the majority of this season, and we need to address it, but it’s not through any lack of effort or desire.
For one reason or another, goalscoring has been our Achilles’ heel this season.
And whether we took our foot off the gas during Saturday’s match after taking the lead at 2-1, or were dictated by the opposition’s tempo instead of our own, it’s not easy to say.
Myself and my two assistants, Jamie Vermiglio and Jonathan Smith, vented our frustrations to the lads at full-time and it was clear from the players’ reactions that they were equally as angry.
Looking ahead to our next match, we travel to Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday night in a rearranged fixture from December and it’s a good opportunity for the lads to regroup and put things right which weren’t correct against North Ferriby.
We are a much better side than we were on Saturday and the reaction in the dressing room after the match tells me the lads will come out fighting and do everything they can to claim the three points tonight, and more importantly not lose sight of the play-off places come the end April.
Finally, aside from the football, one of our ‘Chorley Golden Girls’ sadly passed away last week.
Rita Charnley was a fantastic woman and Chorley through and through.
Myself and Jamie Vermiglio, went to visit her a few weeks ago and our thoughts go out to her family at this sad time.
She was a fantastic person at this football club, and I know she will be sorely missed by everyone.