FOOTBALL: ‘THE BEST feeling in the world’ – the words of Solihull Moors boss Liam McDonald after watching his side make a much-needed return to winning ways following a six-game losing streak.
Moors did their National League survival hopes the world of good with a dramatic 3-1 victory on the road at Macclesfield on Easter Monday.
McDonald’s side now sit four points above the relegation zone with just two league games remaining and the Moors boss admits he had faith in his team to turn things around following a defeat to York City on Good Friday.
He said: “You do not become a poor team overnight but spells of lacking confidence hit all clubs at some stage during a season and ours came at a bad time.
“I knew we would get it back and I told the players to have a couple of days relaxing after the narrow defeat against York, where at least we laid the ghost of Tranmere and for most of the second half we dominated.
“I had every confidence that we would build on the York performance and win at Macclesfield.
“I asked the players to take a minute out before the match and think about the last time individually that they did something special on the pitch – scored a goal, blocked a vital move etc. I then suggested they bottle that feeling and take it out onto the pitch at Moss Rose.
“I think it worked but I was so pleased to see all the lads race straight over to our fans after every goal. That is what it means to them. We live for football but we need that 12th man.”
It looked as though the Moors were heading for a seventh consecutive defeat in Macclesfield with McDonald’s side staring down the barrel of a 1-0 defeat with 12 minutes to go.
But the visitors found inspiration from their travelling fans to score three late goals and McDonald was quick to thank the club’s supporters for playing their part over the Easter weekend.
“I have said before that the difference it makes to us when we know the crowd is willing us on can increase performance by perhaps 15 per cent,” McDonald continued.
“It goes a long way to reducing the gap between us and full time squads. So please let‘s hear you just as loud on Saturday when Eastleigh visit the Automated Technology Group Stadium.
“I was so proud of all the players over the Bank Holiday. They have been 100 per cent behind me on this steep learning curve. It has not been easy but we are all better for the experience.
“Again I cannot praise our bench players too highly on Monday – just as the Silkmen were tiring they had to face Andy, Regan and Nortey and the goals were testament to what they did to our performance.
“Our substitutions with Omari, Ashley and Dapo worked to perfection and all three thoroughly justified their place in the starting line up against Macclesfield.”
Next up for Moors is a home clash against Eastleigh where McDonald is hoping to wrap up survival ahead of the final game of the season at Guiseley AFC.
He added: “We start our Eastleigh preparations now. We have had them watched and I will be studying videos of their last three away matches so that we can get the set up and tactics right on Saturday and hopefully seal our place in the National League for another season.”