Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scouting for 'Lyons'

Tony Howard

FC UNITED are setting up a scouting team to trawl the north west for talent – with a defender first on the wanted list.

The reds’ boss Karl Marginson has been disappointed with his team’s defensive frailties in recent weeks, culminating in FC’s six-match winning streak coming to an end at Clitheroe on Saturday. And he admits it may be time to strengthen that department.

Despite brilliant performances from his strikers Aaron Burns and Rory Patterson plus winger Jerome Wright, which saw United cruise to some impressive victories over the likes of this Saturday’s opponents Bamber Bridge, Margy is less impressed with his back line.

FC are in the play-off places in the UniBond North with Bamber Bridge waiting to strike below them. They have games in hand and are smarting from a 5-0 defeat to FC in the President’s Cup two weeks ago.

Margy said: “I think the front three or four have got us out of trouble recently and if they have an off day, like at Clitheroe last weekend, we need the defence to step up and be counted.

“I think we have been a bit lax at the back in recent games and we may be need to address that in terms of personnel. We have missed captain Dave Chadwick through injury and I may think about playing new boy Colin Bell in the middle of defence to see if that helps.

“We have struggled with injuries and when we’ve gone to people, who we thought were our friends in the game, we’ve been let down and no one has wanted to help us by loaning players.

“We need to do something about that so first team coach Darren Lyons is going to oversee a scouting network with help from my assistant Phil Power. Daz hopes to get his own team in place to watch sides at our level and younger players with a view to bringing them to the club.

“Tony Cullen, who was the reserve team manager, has been brought into the first team set-up as a coach and he has already made an impact with his excellent coaching methods and his ability to raise the team spirit and get the banter flying in the dressing room.”

United were beaten 2-1 at Clitheroe on Saturday in a stormy encounter. The home side went 1-0 up in the first half and added a second from a disputed penalty in the second.

Chris Baguley scored another great free kick to give the reds hope but they ran out of time.

Following a 5-1 defeat of Rossendale United on Wednesday night, Bamber Bridge now lie in wait for United – and they will have revenge on their minds.

Margy added: “They will be fired up and ready to prove that the last result wasn’t a true reflection on them.

“Apparently, they rested a few players last time so those that missed that game will be chomping at the bit to get at us.

“We have to rise to it because Bamber Bridge are one of our promotion rivals and this game could have an impact later in the season.”

The match on Saturday, November 17, kicks off at 3pm at Brig’s Irongate ground and ticket information is available by calling: 0870 626 0295.