STEVEN RUDD: No excuses for Reds upon the restart

First-team assistant manager Steven Rudd says Reds first-team have ‘no excuses’ ahead of our Northern Premier League campaign restarting on Saturday.

Yesterday, the long-awaited news was confirmed that we’ll travel to Brighouse Town at the weekend after eight weeks without league action due to the second national Covid-19 lockdown.

Speaking at training last night, Danny Grainger’s right-hand man discussed a range of topics as the festive period approaches, firstly focussing on the big news of the day.

Rudd beamed: “To get the go-head is absolutely excellent news!”

“Obviously, health, safety and people’s well-being comes first but we just want to be playing football.

“We’re just hoping they can move down a tier in restrictions, get some more fans in, including our own.

“If not, it’s something for our fans to look forward to from home whether it be live updates or clips and interviews on social media.

“Christmas time without football would be rubbish!”

Reds will have had five training sessions and two matches since the lockdown ended by the time our trip to Yorkshire comes around.

A Buildbase FA Trophy loss at Nantwich Town and friendly win over Penrith this past weekend has put the first-team players through their paces and ‘Ruddy’ reckons Reds have ‘no excuses’ upon their return to action.

“They’re looking good, out of proper match practice but so are every other team,” he explained.

“There’s no excuses, though, we’ve done as much if not more than most teams so we’ve just got to worry about ourselves.

“Saturday was alright, good to get minutes into the legs, we’ve had plenty of training sessions and the Nantwich game, too, so the ball’s on our court.”

Throughout the whole season, numerous young players from our Development Team have been involved with the first-team and have continually impressed.

Rudd, like Grainger, keeps in close contact with coaches Brian Dawson and Craig Johnson, and gave his assessment of how our young guns are doing.

“Our reserve squad are good young lads,” he affirmed.

“We were up at Lakes College on Monday to see them train and Jonno took them on Saturday against Gosforth (a 4-2 friendly victory) and he said they were excellent.

“They’ve fit in really well whenever they’ve trained with the first-team.

“What’s hard to remember is that they’re so young because when you see them, 6ft tall; big, physical lads; they look the part, it’s just reminding yourself of their age and are kids at the end of the day.

“They’re an excellent group of players and the majority have a massive chance of playing for us for years to come.

“They’ve got to stick with it, be patient and make an impact when they get their chance,” he added.

“Against Penrith, Mikey Watson and Carl Lightfoot came on, and Aidan Howarth was asked to play in the position he’s never played before and they all did really well.”

Kick-off at Brighouse on Saturday is at 15:00 and we’ll update you regarding how to follow the match in due course.

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