Armstrong admits Darlington should take more chances

Darlington's Marcus Maddison is unavailable due to injury. Picture: TIM HICKMAN
Darlington's Marcus Maddison is unavailable due to injury. Picture: TIM HICKMAN

Darlington manager Alun Armstrong has told his players they must take more of their chances.

They are at home on Saturday against Boston United looking to build on Monday’s 1-0 home win over Farsley Celtic, but Quakers made hard work of it.

They could look back on their failure to take goalscoring opportunities as a major factor for their defeat at Southport earlier this season.

It took Darlington nearly 80 minutes to break through against Farsley, after they missed several chances to break the deadlock, including a penalty.

“If you look at the stats, we’re not taking enough of the decent chances that we’re creating, and we should be taking a lot more with the quality we’ve got,” said Armstrong. “We’ve brought in some top quality players, but Kaine Felix has had Covid, and Jacob Hazel’s partner has just had a baby.

“I know they’ll come good. The lads have worked ever so hard in training. Once the new lads get settled in, I’m sure we’ll be up there in the goalscoring charts.

“Saturday’s game is about getting a result, and we want to make sure we carry on from Monday with a good performance against Boston.

“We’ll get better as the season goes on. We must start the game brightly, take our chances, but expect a tough game because they’ll be looking to get their first win on the board. It’ll be nice if we’re not the ones to give them their first win, just like we did at Southport last season. We’ll give everything and hopefully the lads will get the result.”

Quakers are 12th in the table, a point off the play-off spots having drawn 1-1 at Spennymoor Town last Saturday.

Boston are bottom without a win having drawn three and lost three of their six games.

“It was a really positive weekend, we got four points which could have been better,” added Armstrong.

“The Monday game was always going to be tough after playing on Saturday. When you look at Monday’s results, there weren’t many goals about because of the fatigue of playing on the Saturday, but we got the job done. We got the points but now we’re going into a difficult game against Boston.

“Boston are in a false position. We know all about them from last season when they beat us at their place and we beat them at Blackwell Meadows, and they’ll up near the top this season, I’m certain of it.

“But we’ve got to make sure we play at our tempo and stop them playing. Not in the slow motion that we do at times - we need to keep a nice high tempo, because with the quality we’ve got, we’re more than capable of winning matches.”

Armstrong hasn’t ruled out strengthening his squad in the near future, now that the first transfer window of the season has closed for clubs above Quakers.

He added: “We are short of central defensive cover, but there’s not many players about.

“The transfer window has shut now, but I’m sure there’ll be a few available, who haven’t got the clubs they were looking for, we’ll see what develops. But in the centre of defence Jake Lawlor has been outstanding and Jassem Sukar has grown into the role. It’s the first time he’s played at this level, and I’m really pleased with the way he’s come on.”

Midfielder Marcus Maddison and defender David Wheater are both missing because of injury.