Saints boss talks after Saturday’s win against Bashley

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ST ALBANS CITY boss David Howell says all his team can do is worry about their own results as they continue to remain outsiders to make the end of season play-offs.

The Saints have been in excellent form in the last two months – winning seven and drawing three of their last 11 league games, with their last defeat coming as far back as January 28 when they lost 2-1 at home to Bedford Town.

However, despite their positive momentum, Howell admits the odds are still stacked against his team as the season enters its finals stages.

“I looked at the table the other day and I worked out that if us and the teams around us repeat the previous seven results in the remaining seven games, we will just miss out on the play-offs,” Howell told the Herts Advertsiser, “but we have just got to keep going to give ourselves a chance and hope the teams around us drop points.”

Howell was impressed with Saturday’s 2-0 win against Bashley at Clarence Park. Late goals from Sakho Bakare and the returning Simon Martin sealed a deserved victory despite the goals coming in the final 15 minutes.

“We didn’t start well,” said Howell. “We were a bit slow in the first 10 minutes or so but once we got ourselves together we started to get control of the game. It was goalless at the break and I said to the lads at half-time that we needed to turn our possession and territory into goals.

“Bashley had one or two chances after we scored our goals just to remind us they were still there but overall it was a fair result.”

Howell also praised the influence of second-half substitute Sean Shields, who made an instant impact after entering the fray by setting up the first goal with a sublime cross from the right.

“Sean Shields had an instant impact when he came on and set up the first goal,” added Howell. “He has had an ankle injury that has kept him out but he has come on in the last two games and has made a real difference.

“He’s tricky, he’s technically very good and can play both left and right wing, so it’s good to have him back.

“We’ve got a few players coming back now – Paul Furlong will be available at the weekend [against Banbury] and Rob Howarth has returned after his loan spell at Hemel Hempstead.”

Meanwhile, David Howell dusted off his boots to play in a charity match on Monday night as a St Albans City XI containing a mixture of first, reserve and youth team players defeated HMS St Albans 6-1 at Clarence Park. Howell came on as a 74th-minute substitute and refuted suggestions he was bed-bound for the following day.

“I had already made up my mind that I wouldn’t ache the next day,” joked the 53-year-old. “I made sure I didn’t do much running and I just stayed in the centre circle!”

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