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News Archive > Sport > ‘We have to improve,’ says Newquay boss

‘We have to improve,’ says Newquay boss

By Tom Howe 24th January 2018

‘We have to improve,’ says Newquay boss
STRIKER´S INSTINCT: Newquay forward Tyler Cheshire battles for possession with the Millbrook goalkeeper

MANAGER Tony Mackellar says his Newquay players "need to learn to perform week in, week out" if they are to make this season a success.

Mackellar spoke to the Voice after his side recovered from 0-1 and 1-2 down to beat South West Peninsula West Division outfit Millbrook 4-2 and book a place in the last eight of the Cornwall Senior Cup competition.

In their first outing since Boxing Day’s 3-0 defeat at Godolphin Atlantic, the Peppermints were slower to get going then their plucky opponents and found themselves a goal behind shortly after the restart when Dan Chapman beat goalkeeper Zak Roberts. Cam Turner brought the Premier League side level with a cracking goal, although Jake Foster was on hand to restore Millbrook’s advantage, leaving Mackellar’s men on the verge of a cup upset.

However, having changed things tactically, the Peppermints wrestled back control of the fixture and, after Richard Griffin had equalised, the visitors were reduced to 10 men. Danny O’Hagan took advantage twice late on to seal Newquay’s first win since December 2 and a quarter-final tie at Mousehole - another team from the West Division and one managed by former Godolphin boss Kevin Richards.

Mackellar, who missed the game after serving the last match of a ban, said: “In the first-half we were against the wind which was pretty strong. We didn’t have a great half and it was probably one of the worst first-halves we have played all season. A lot of that was down to rustiness, the last game we played was against Godolphin on Boxing Day, so those three weeks off had shown really.

“We only had Ollie Dart, Glen Squires and Harrie Tilston missing so there were no real excuses there. It was just a bad performance, there is no way around it really. At half-time we told them to pull their finger out but they conceded straight away which was not ideal. The wind dropped which was typical for us and put it more on an even playing field.

“We scored an equaliser with 20 minutes to go through Turner’s 25-yard drive but, the way we were playing, it was going to take something a little bit special to get us out of the mud. They went and scored again and we changed things around, putting O’Hagan up front and tried to push and put the pressure on.

“That paid off; there was a goalmouth scramble and Griffin knocked it in to make it 2-2. In the last 10 minutes they had a player sent-off and that gave us the edge we needed to push on and we scored two more through O’Hagan. Sometimes cup games are like that, we understand that, but we have to improve because we can’t play like that week in, week out.”

Mackellar - whose side have fallen back from the high of an early season top six position and not tasted victory in the league since November 11 - admitted he had never been involved with a team that were so inconsistent, saying: “One week we will give Bodmin a good game and the next lose a game that you should win, not only badly but very badly.

“They as players need to learn to perform week in, week out. That is what makes the good players at this level, they can perform at elite status all the time, not one here, one there. We are trying to improve and some players need to step up, it is not just about one game it is about 38.

“We are still in the building stage, I’ve said that since day one, three seasons and we will be ready. We have not done too bad for the second season. If we can finish mid-table  then we are roughly where we thought we would be and if we can get past Mousehole in the next round, which will be incredibly tough, then we are in another semi-final of a Senior Cup which wouldn’t be a bad achievement for where we are but there is always room for improvement.

“We got a little bit excited at the start of the season when we were up in fifth, sixth but the reality of it was that we knew that games would catch up with us and we don’t have the depth in the squad. That has proved in the last few months when we have had players missing, we are not strong enough, but we can’t afford to have those kind of players sat on the bench.”

The Peppermints play their first South West Peninsula fixture of 2018 when they travel to Launceston this Saturday for a 3pm kick-off. The Clarets sit two spots and three points ahead of 10th-place Newquay, although have three games in hand and a higher goal difference, with Mackellar revealing it was one of his least favourite places to visit.

“It is a difficult place to go, I think I have only won there once when I’ve been there. I always say them and Saltash are two of the toughest, we don’t seem to get much from that neck of the woods. It’s a big pitch, a heavy pitch - it’s just a horrible pitch if I’m honest. I don’t like it, I’ve never had a good record there. We are up against it but we only lost 1-0 at home to them and felt we should have got something out of it.

“What I am really looking for is, can we get something there and see an improvement? We have got Bodmin on Tuesday and then we have got Mousehole in the quarter-final. So we have got a big week next week. We are looking for an improvement on those two games ready for Mousehole on the Saturday.

“Griffin won’t be there but Dart will be back and we are still waiting to hear back from Tilston. Craig Ainsley is out for a couple more weeks and we are waiting on the fitness of Jack Bray-Evans, so we might have four out at least.

“We have to be happy with what we have got squad wise because we have no money to bring people in. Saying that, can you tell me a decent striker out there in a certain budget range? I would not be able to tell you who was good enough to try and get in. I don’t need someone who is going to warm the bench, I have got squad players ready but what we want is improved first team players.

“We are low on numbers at times but that is why we have a second team and if we have to dig into that then so be it. Martin Yelland was on the bench on Saturday and we have brought Louis Price and Teague Lobb back into the frame of the first team now as well.”

Newquay’s trip to Launceston is followed by Bodmin Town’s visit to Mount Wise on Tuesday evening, 7.30pm, and the battle against Mousehole for a place in the last four of the Senior Cup the following Saturday at Trungle Park, 2pm.

By Tom Howe 24th January 2018

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