Neil Tolson provided an insight into the spirit he believes could yet haul Altrincham back from the brink and safeguard their place in the Vanarama National League.
Alty have to beat doomed Welling United at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday and hope other results go their way to head into the final game of the season, at Braintree seven days later, with The Great Escape still a possibility.
As he conducted a roll call of fit players, following a 2-0 defeat at Eastleigh, caretaker-boss Tolson backed his squad to rise to the challenge.
‘Tim Deasy (right) suffered a slight tear in his thigh at Eastleigh but phoned me up on Sunday to say he would pay for a painkilling injection himself to ensure he could play on Saturday,’ he said. ‘I’m hoping it won’t come to that, but it just shows how desperate these players are to pull things round and get us out of trouble.
‘They are not players on the point of giving up. Jake Moult is another example. If you had seen the size of his ankle a week ago, you would have said he won’t play again this season. But he put a full 90 minutes in at Eastleigh and has since told me he wants to play against Welling.
‘That is the mood among the players, and of course we are in with a shout of staying up, if we can win on Saturday. I remember, as a player, going to Rotherham with York, needing to win and another team to lose, and it panned out that way.
‘We stayed up against the odds on the final day, and it can happen again. The frustration for me is we are creating chances but not taking them. But if we keep doing that, keep knocking on the door, it can still turn for us. The worry would be if we weren’t creating.
‘The players are desperate to play for me and the football club. There has never been an issue on that front. Confidence is the issue, but it is part and parcel of being a footballer that you have to deal with that.’ James Phillips is again ruled out with a knee injury, while fellow-winger Ryan Crowther is ’90 per cent’ likely to miss out with a hamstring problem”.
Source: John Edwards www.altrinchamfc.co.uk