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Basingstoke Town players urged to shoot on sight
BASINGSTOKE Town manager Jason Bristow wants his goal-shy side to take on more shots as they look to close the gap on the Conference South play-off places.
Town sit 11th in the table going in to Saturday’s trip to Woking’s Kingfield Stadium, where they will face tenants Hayes and Yeading United (kick-off 3pm).
They are six points off the play-off spots, having won just one of their last five league games, with hitting the net their major problem.
The Camrose club have a decent defensive record and have been performing well of late – but too often they fail to turn possession and territory into goals.
Their finishing has been wayward at times, while the quality of their final ball has also been an issue. However, there have also been occasions when players have turned down the opportunity to shoot, choosing instead to play an extra pass.
It is this issue that Bristow is keen to address and he is urging his players to take responsibility by having shots on goal when the opportunity arises.
“It is difficult for us to put our finger on why we are not scoring because we look unbeatable in training, scoring some really good goals,” Bristow said. “When it comes to games it is a different sort of pressure and rather than taking responsibility, the players try to lay chances on a plate for someone else.
“We are trying to encourage the players to shoot a bit more around the box rather than going for the extra pass and attempting to score the perfect goal. It looks like it’s coming together for us performance-wise, but we need to finish moves off.”
Saturday will see Town take on a Hayes and Yeading side low on confidence, having lost their last five games. However, the visitors won 1-0 when the teams met at the Camrose earlier in the season and Bristow is taking nothing for granted.
“Hayes and Yeading have not been in great form but they will be looking to win the game to get back on track and we will not take them lightly,” he said. “We just have to concentrate on ourselves. We have performed well in the last three or four games and have got to take that into Saturday.”
Town will have to do without left-back Adam Green, who is suspended following the red card he received against Sutton. Bristow will be hoping that Andrew Jenkinson recovers from a quad injury in time to replace him, but Robbie Rice or Jay Gasson could be asked to deputise if not.
Basingstoke’s only other injury worry concerns Jordace Holder-Spooner, who has a knee problem and will be assessed before the game.
Visit basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport for live text coverage from the game against Hayes and Yeading.