Thursday, May 23, 2024

Salford stop the rot but Karl Robinson admits: ‘We’re not the finished article’

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Apr 2024

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Salford head coach Karl Robinson was delighted to end a four-game losing run with a last-gasp 1-0 win at Newport but knows the club’s owners will demand more next season.

Robinson’s men are 20th in League Two after Matt Smith came off the bench to hit a 92nd-minute winner at Rodney Parade and condemn the hosts to a seventh straight defeat.

Smith slammed in the rebound after fellow substitute Junior Luamba hit the post in stoppage time. And Robinson felt Luamba and Kelly Nmai, who also came off the bench, made the difference.

“I don’t think we’ve been that bad over the last four or five games,” said Robinson after the late drama.

“We’ve deserved an awful lot more than we’ve got, and it would have been criminal for us not to get all three points today.

“I was really pleased with the balance of the team. I think the injection of pace gave us the impetus late on against a team that looked like they were getting more and more tired.

“It’s pleasing to make the long journey back with three points in the bag, it’s a nice feeling and the players deserve it.”

Robinson has steered Salford to safety since taking over from Neil Wood in January, but he is well aware that the club’s owners – former Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Gary and Phil Neville – expect more.

“We’re still nowhere near the finished article,” he said. “I think there’s a lot more that we can do.

“When you’ve got owners like we have and they speak consistently about how much better they want to be, and the work that everyone puts in at this club – I think we’ve got a duty to pay that back.

“We have to be better in all areas of the football club, and I include myself in that.”

County manager Graham Coughlan hinted at a summer of change after another frustrating afternoon for his side in their final home match of the season.

“We weren’t good enough,” said the Exiles boss.

“We had a couple of good chances in the first half but there is a trend, we can go to 60 minutes but then don’t have the legs or the energy.

“The lads that have stepped into the team for those that are injured are just not able to cope at this level.

“You can only solve that with change. We need a different approach, a new mentality, fresh players.

“A number of those players have obviously gone as far as they can. It will be a tough and hard-working summer for us because we need to freshen the place up.”

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