JIMMY Shan says Solihull Moors are a work in progress on the back of a 2-0 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge in his first game in charge.
The Moors were undone by first-half goals from Mitch Brundle and Angelo Balanta en route to their 12th loss of the campaign, leaving them with just one win in their last eight National League games.
Despite the negatives born out of the loss, Shan was keen to highlight the aspects of Solihull’s game that worked well in his first game in charge.
“In the second half, I thought we were excellent. I thought we controlled the game, dominated the game and had some very good chances,” he said.
“I think in the first half we could’ve trusted our shape a little bit better. We had lots of chances to open them up, play internal passes and go to the opposite side of the pitch.
“The nature of the two goals we conceded and the times of the two goals we conceded were obviously very disappointing.”
But with a full week to prepare for his opening bow in front of the SportNation.bet Stadium faithful against Dover Athletic on Saturday, Shan is confident of a big result against their sixth-placed rivals (3pm).
“I had four of five days work on the grass with them [before the Dagenham game]. We are looking to tweak and change some things,” he added.
“It’s a different shape compared to what they played in the previous two games and it’s going to take time.
“But based on where they took their performance to in the second half, it was very pleasing.”
It was the visitors who had the first sight of goal in last weekend’s clash at the Chigwell Construction Stadium when Jason Cowley made a clever run in behind the defence, unleashing a shot that was rushed and failed to trouble goalkeeper Elliot Justham.
But with the next chance that was created, this time from the Daggers, the opening goal arrived.
After a header across the face of Moors’ penalty area from Manny Onariase found its way to Brundle, the midfielder made no mistake in turning the ball home past Ryan Boot.
To Solihull’s credit, their heads did not drop and they instead began to enjoy more territory and possession of the ball as the half progressed.
Another couple of chances for Cowley, this time with a header and a curling effort that crashed against the inside of the post and out, denied the visitors an equaliser.
The misses proved costly, as the Daggers doubled their advantage through Balanta, who robbed Bajrami of possession before sending the ball low past Boot.
It was a tough one for Shan’s side to take given the opportunities that fell their way, as Dagenham’s accuracy in finishing the only real difference at the half-way stage.
James Ball took it upon himself to launch a Solihull fightback and went close to pulling a goal back for the visitors.
The midfielder flicked Darren Carter’s free-kick towards goal with his first attempt, and with the second opportunity that fell his way from the resulting corner, he flew a left-footed volley narrowly wide.
Kenny Clark almost put the hosts out of sight with a header that drifted over the bar, while Ben House should have done better when sending a shot straight into Boot’s midriff.
One positive from the defeat was a debut for Nick Clayton-Phillips, who appeared bright in spells and almost had a goal to his name, meeting George Carline’s centre to fly a deflected volley wide.
Ultimately though, for all of the chances Moors enjoyed, no late comeback was launched, meaning they drop to eighth – just outside of the play-off places.