Relieved Whitley Bay boss praises his side's character
A happy and relieved Ian Chandler was full of praise for his leg weary Whitley Bay side after their victory at Penrith on Saturday.
The game was their fourth game in eight days, and the boss admitted it was “hard work”.
However, that was not the case during the first 45 minutes, when Whitley were in control of the game.
Chandler said: “At half-time the players were saying ‘we’ve been comfortable, we’ve dominated, they’ve created nothing in the first half’.
“We had a good goal and maybe two or three half chances but haven’t really pressurised them to push home the advantage we had in terms of possession.
“But we said we’ve all been in this situation in the last few games when we’ve been poor in the first half and dominated the second, so hopefully it won’t happen the opposite way round.
“Bbut as the game went on, it kind of did, and if it wasn’t for some really good defending from the whole team and then some unbelievable saves from Tom [Flynn] we could have lost.
“We did have some half chances in the second half but the pressure did seem to mount and mount.
“Eventually I thought they might have got the equaliser if not a second goal.
“So I was more than happy that we got the three points and it gives us a bit of breathing space, hopefully.
“It’s a hard win and I thought the defence were excellent.
“Bramley’s coming back, he’s obviously been out for a while, he tired later on but I thought him and Richard Flynn together were good, and Steve Gibson was his normal self, and with Callum Anderson in midfield there was a bit more energy in there.
“Everything was fine first half and then the lads at the back tired.
“Penrith went more direct and got on top of us and eventually if people keep doing that something will happen, and sure enough the penalty came along and Tom made a fine save.”
Chandler acknowledged that playing four games in eight days had taken a lot out of the players and there were some tired legs on the pitch.
“The was plenty of good stuff today but I think there was just tiredness as well so we’ll not do anything now until Wednesday,” he said.
“They’ll have four or five days off and come back Wednesday and hopefully get us to the semi-final of the League Cup.
“It’s been a good week, last Saturday against Seaham was disappointing but since then we’ve done OK and we’ve got six points.”
Looking ahead, he added “We’ve got a cup game on Wednesday then a winnable game on Friday then a nice little derby on Easter Monday [North Shields], which I’m sure we’ll all be up for.”