Nash Calls On York United Squad To Capitalize On ‘Momentum Moments’
Labelled as playoff contenders ahead of the campaign, York United finds itself bottom of the table five games in with the least goals scored, and tied for the most conceded.
This weekend saw the Nine Stripes suffer a 4-1 loss away to Pacific, a fixture that has historically gone in their favour.
Instead, the visitors found themselves struggling to cope with Pacific’s attacking probes, with the hosts repeatedly exploiting cracks in their armour – though York had a few chances of their own, highlighted by an Olimpico goal from Kevin Dos Santos.
Still, they leave with no points and still have just one goal from open play thus far this season.
“Right now, I think I think we have to almost go back to the drawing board,” surmised head coach Martin Nash after the match.
Nash’s team were caught out on a few occasions by a proficient Pacific counter, with Nash lamenting that the match saw his team push forward with ‘reckless abandon’ instead of keeping numbers behind the ball, something they were repeatedly punished for.
“It’s something we’ll have to reiterate, and we did well for most of the game – but we didn’t protect against the counter late in the game, and guys were out of position. There’s a few things I’d like to see in the goals back again, but you know at the end of the day it wasn’t good enough.”
On the opposite end, Nash wants to see his team prove more clinical in front of goal, a theme that has recurred – and perhaps regressed – from last season. He called back to moments in the match where Emil Gazdov looked shaky, or when Brian Wright had a wide-open header, neither of which resulted in a goal.
“It’s been a consistent theme that we just don’t take our chances, and they’re momentum moments too – if we take a chance there, it’s two-two and we’ve got the momentum now, and [Pacific] were already on the backfoot at the time.”
Nash revealed that he ‘lost his cool’ on players in the dressing room at half-time, with volumes and emotions being raised to get a reaction from his team. The squad came out stronger in the second half and reduced the deficit to one, with Nash saying he got the reaction he wanted before Pacific’s third deflated the atmosphere – but also that they need to play with that second half fire in their bellies for full ninety minute increments.
It’s clear the attacking influence of Molham Babouli has been missed, and his return will prove a big boost. Up top, Nash has rotated Brian Wright, Osaze De Rosario, and Austin Ricci, having yet to settle on how to get the best of his attacking lineup.
Not helping on either end is that is the fact that the Nine Stripes have already suffered injuries all over the pitch, so it was nice to see Michael Petrasso come on from the bench for the first time this year, though players like Roger Thompson and Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare are still sidelined.
While it hasn’t been the start to the season which York United had hoped for, goalkeeper Niko Giantsopoulos – who leads the league in saves at the caveat of being called to action more than most – added that it was still early on in the year yet, with the group still confident in themselves and ready to build some much-needed momentum.
“We’ve got a good team. We got guys right in those little moments that if we take advantage of them later on the season, scorelines and points will be different, but obviously right now it’s not happening.”
With a spattering of players returning to health, York United now heads eastwards to visit the Halifax Wanderers over the weekend. A win there would see York leapfrog the hosts in league standings and prove a big boost to their ambitions of getting back on track.
Nash is ready for his team to prove focused and clinical for the full ninety. His benchmark for improvement is clear:
“When we get top quality chances, we have to start putting them in the back of the net.”
Header Image Photo Credit: Sheldon Mack / Pacific FC