Garstang boss praises players’ powers of recovery

Garstang FC manager Lee Baker
Garstang FC manager Lee Baker

Garstang FC manager Lee Baker praised his players for the way they have returned to football after their mid-season break.

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Poor weather meant the Riversiders spent five weeks without a game, running from their 4-1 win against Tempest United on January 13 until drawing 1-1 at Southport Hesketh on February 17.

Since then, they have won through to the Lancashire Shield final with victory over Euxton Villa last Thursday before returning to West Lancashire League action with three points against Hesketh Bank 48 hours later.

Baker said: “It’s been difficult because we’ve had to do a lot of training and a lot of fitness classes.

“As soon as we went into that game at Southport we knew we couldn’t simulate a game in training.

“The lads came off and said their legs felt heavy; I suppose it’s like a sprinter doing a long distance run or vice versa; it’s a different type of fitness.

“We didn’t play to our best against Southport and, against Euxton, that performance was still in our heads to start with.

“I know Euxton scored first but, after that, I felt we got better as the game went on and it was a good team performance.

“Then, on Saturday, I felt the performance level wasn’t going to be right but it’s going to be difficult when you’ve played fewer than 48 hours before that.

“That just shows, though, the character we have in the squad to get those wins.”

The Riversiders are due to play again on Wednesday with Burscough Richmond their visitors (7.30pm) before Saturday’s Richardson Cup tie at Fulwood Amateurs (3pm).

Baker is just hoping, however, that the freezing weather predicted doesn’t adversely affect those plans.

He said: “The weather app is the favourite on my phone at the moment – I’m always looking at it!

“I’ve been to the ground tonight (Monday) and it was perfectly soft; I’m hoping it doesn’t get called off and the lads want it on.”