Manager Nicky Hayen praised his players’ fighting spirit as Haverfordwest County edged out Barry Town United 1-0 at Jenner Park yesterday to make it back-to-back wins in the JD Cymru Premier for the first time this season.
Alhagi Touray Sisay struck shortly after the break to give the Bluebirds a priceless three points, which sees us move above the Dragons into ninth place in the table.
The result sees Hayen maintain his 100% record in charge since taking over at the Ogi Bridge Meadow.
Here’s what the manager had to say after the game:
A 1-0 win away at Barry to make it back-to-back wins in the league for the first time this season, you must have been delighted with the result?
“I was really, really happy with the result because I knew it was a huge game. For the first time this season, we could leave the bottom two places behind, so there was more pressure, even more pressure than last week [versus Cefn Druids], but the team handled it really well.
“The performance itself was a little bit less than the week before, but they showed a real fighting spirit and a mental advantage and they kept it [the lead] until the end. We also needed a good [Lee] Idzi to keep a third clean sheet in a row.”
As you mentioned, it probably wasn’t our best performance, so it must be pretty pleasing to grind out a 1-0 win when you’re not at your best?
Of course. This is something we can improve, how we can player better in circumstances like this with a lot of pressure, but no, the boys kept standing until the end. They survived difficult moments.
“Sometimes you have in a season that you play bad, but if you can win this game then you’re also a good team. Most of the time you lose these games, but you can see what this team is capable of.”
The first-half was quite even, but we looked very sharp at the start of the second-half and, of course, found the goal. Was there a particular message you gave to the lads at half time?
“The only changes were that we had to find out full-backs more often, and try to create spaces between the lines, so our movement had to be better.
“I’m not going to say that the opposition helped us, because they matched up their shape against ours, and we knew perfectly well what we had to do. But the boys came out for the second-half and we quickly scored to make it 1-0, and this was an important 30 seconds.”
And next up in the league is Cefn Druids at home next Saturday, of course we only played them two weeks ago so presumably the challenge will be to produce a similar performance again?
“Yes of course, but I have already mentioned that the Cefn Druids now are not the Druids from before Christmas, they’ve changed around half of their team I think, and they’ve improved their level.
“But, like before, we approach every game like it’s a cup final, there’s nine games left. This is what we did before at Druids away, Barry away and this is what we’re going to do next Saturday for Druids at home.
“We have to approach it game-by-game, and we know we will have to be at 100% to win this game. As you’ve seen, Druids have drawn against Aberystwyth, so at the moment I think anyone can win against anyone.
“We have to improve our game when we have the ball and keep the same mentality and spirit to defend, and then we’ll see, but we want three points again.”
And next Saturday’s game will see you in the dugout at the Bridge Meadow for the first time, how excited are you for that?
“Of course. I hope a lot of people will be at the ground to see that, at the moment, the results are good and the performances are good. This is the thing we try to do, to make the connection with the fans, showing good performances.
“I hope there will be a nice attendance, having the same atmosphere as before, because the players really like it and it helps them to play even better.
“If you have a good atmosphere and the fans are behind the team, you’re stronger and you can have a good result.”