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Youth Team

Pollard Looks For Better Finishing

11 February 2018

Youth team midfielder Josh Pollard said he and his teammates would continue working to improve their finishing in the aftermath of a 3-1 away defeat against Bury.

The young Lilywhites were not short of chances in the North West Youth Alliance league contest, showing plenty of encouragement in attack to create those numerous opportunities, but failed to show the same ruthless touch in front of goal as the Shakers.

Pollard believes the whole team must aim to contribute to the team’s goalscoring output, the first-year scholar stressing the importance of having multiple players in the team capable of finding the back of the net.

“We’re always working on shooting, we have 20 minutes on that at the end of training,” the 17-year-old told PNE.com. “Obviously, we need goals to win games and not just from the front three players, we need other players to score too.

“Fenners [Lewis Fensome] has scored today and we need that from other areas of the pitch to win games, including myself, because I had two good chances in the game.

“There was the half volley as soon as I came on, I got in on target but it’s a good save from the ‘keeper, but also in the second-half when the ‘keeper’s passed it to the holding midfielder, I’ve nicked in and he’s clipped me as I’ve gone to shoot and the ‘keeper’s obviously stopped it.

“It could have been hand ball outside the box, we’re not sure about that, but need to do better in those areas, I could have chipped it and it’s important to take those chances going forward.

“I’ve scored two goals this season, I haven’t made too many appearances but I scored against Accrington and I scored last time against Bury in the reverse fixture. I just have to keep working hard to try to get into the team, make an impact and if I can, try to get a goal to help the team.”

The midfielder was pleased to get some game time, having replaced the injured Kian Smart in the 33rd minute for just his second appearance of 2018.

“It’s a good time to get an appearance, there are a few players injured and obviously that gives some room for me to get in the team and try to prove a point to the manager. Hopefully more opportunities will come to get some game time which will help me to progress as a player.

“When I do come on, I try to make an impact and I think we moved the ball well today, kept possession and looked dangerous playing forwards. Towards the last 20 minutes of the game, it was a case of them keeping it in the corner and a lot of 50/50 tackles, a bit of a mismatch everywhere.

“It didn’t go our way today so we have to keep going in training and keep working on things. Hopefully we can win our next game but we also need to take our chances in games and get more clean sheets.

“The second-years are coming to the end of their scholarships and that gives more room for the first-years to step up and take leadership, so that hopefully will give me more chances going forward so I can prove myself.”


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