As we come up towards the half way stage of the season it’s time for some reflection at Victoria Road.
porttalbottown.co.uk caught up with first team manager Mark Pike and asked for his thoughts on the team, the season so far and where the football club looks to go forward heading in to 2019.
“Firstly I’d like to put on record a major thank you for the support received to date, hope this continues. To the boys and girls supporting us at home and following us on the road, it means a lot, thank you very much. 15 games on and to be honest we are still in survival mode. It has been a huge learning curve for all involved from a playing perspective and equally off the field. We are certainly in transformation and slowly building a team to reflect what I want.”
Commenting on the initial start of the season it’s evident that has been a mixture of ups and downs…
“To say it been a roller-coaster is an understatement! It’s certainly mentally challenging with some great results, some poor and some in between but it’s important we remain mentally and physically strong.
“We have brought a young playing group together to date and because of player availability we have not played the same team twice this season. Every week we see a number of players making themselves unavailable for many reasons which ultimately disrupts our progress. Saying that, every game we have played has been close and fine margins between ourselves and the opposition. When we’re on top of games we haven’t been clinical enough in front of goal, leaving huge pressure on the back four.
You’ve only got to look at our stats in games. We are creating far more chances than our opponents at times and have to be better in front of goal. Defensively, whilst we are strong every little mistake is punished and we come away from games frustrated.
It’s important we go into the second half positive; continue to build on the foundations and see what happens come May.”
When asked about targets for 2018, Pike felt the blues were just falling short but things were certainly going in the right direction;
“Since taking on the reigns in late July I am continually asked am I worried but to be honest at this stage I expected a min of 16 points on the board. We have 11 to date, two games short of the objective really. With the hard work from all going in on and off the field this makes me less worried. We’re going to continue to work hard with the little means we have. Transformation of Port Talbot Town Football Club started 3 years back so we thought, but in reality it started in August this year simply because we stripped everything back to bare minimum and now we’re slowly building a sustainable future for this football club.
At the start of season we were written off, people outside of the club wanted to see us fail, whatever failure means but in all honesty the feedback of the many have been positive.
We are a united group chasing the same objective, we are a young and in some cases inexperienced group which at times have shown. Our aim is to keep working hard and achieve our objective. Hopefully player commitment will be stronger; we work harder and as a result achieve more points in this second of the season coming up for 2019”
The Blues are next in action this Saturday in a friendly game against Maesteg Park (2:00PM KO) before they return to league action the following weekend away at Pontypridd Town. Be sure to keep up with all the latest action at porttalbottown.co.uk as well as your usual social media platforms for everything blue and white.
Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell