Macclesfield moved 18 points clear at the top of National Two North on Saturday with a tight 15-3 win over 14th placed Broadstreet, and thanks to second placed Sedgley Park Tiger’s loss to Caldy.
Despite the win, coaching and playing staff alike at Macclesfield were left frustrated with their performance and felt they should have done much better.
Assistant Coach, Chris Jones felt that his player’s weren’t at the races, mentally;
“I don’t think our mentality was quite right. We were really up for Sandal last week and I think we may have taken our eye off the ball this weekend. We had a fantastic week in training, the warm up was fantastic, so I’m not to sure what happened. We’ll sit down as coaching staff and do our review and see what we need to do for next week.”
Captain, and try scorer Mike Finnemore admitted it was a disappointed squad, despite the win and results elsewhere.
“We want to play at a higher level, today was not that level and we expect to play as close to that level as possible, week in, week out. To turn up and not play as expected in good conditions is disappointing for us.”
“We’re a frustrated dressing room. Both the older and the younger lads knew that wasn’t to our standards.”
The Blues make quite a few changes to their line up, including a first starting line up from last weekend’s win at Sandal, including a debut man of the match performance, from Joe Palmer.
“We’ve put together a squad with a lot of depth now. Joe Palmer had his first start for the club today and was absolutely outstanding, never took a step backwards, he was in the thick of things throughout. Billy Robinson got his first start of the season today, hes a very experienced player, and hasn’t played as much as he’d like but he’s been going well for the second team and showed today that he deserves to be involved more often”
Finnemore was also impressed with the performance of his young back row partner, and felt it was something that Macclesfield should be proud of.
“Its always good to see a young lad come through, Joe performed very well. He’s come on brilliantly, and its part of what we want to do at Macclesfield, we want to see our own players come through and play for the first team.”
The Blues are at Priory Park once again this weekend and face 6th placed Harrogate. When the two sides met back in November, it was a very tight affair, Finnemore expects the same and expects his side to up their performance levels.
“Next week we’ll be keen to right some wrongs from today. Harrogate was a very tough game last time out. We’re going to have to make sure we pull our fingers out and make sure we do some damage.”
Chris Jones knows that top of the league Blues are now a scalp for other teams, and his side must pick themselves up mentally for every game.
“Next week is another huge game at home to Harrogate. We’re at the top of the league, so when teams come here, it’s their cup final, they game is raised straight away. We need to have the right mentality to make sure we match them.”