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Watson praises lower league opposition

By Dan Simmonite | 21st September 2019

City proceeded to the next round of the Emirates FA Cup after a 2-0 victory over North West Counties League side Irlam this evening, thanks to goals from Alex Kempster and new signing Kyle McFarlane.

Steve Watson’s side now proceed to the third round qualifying; however, the gaffer was quick to send his plaudits to the opposition after today’s encounter.

He said: “They made us work very hard for the win and I thought they were a credit to their club today.

“For the level they are at they tried to play and didn’t try to frustrate us and probably got more shots off than we did.

“We’ve had a few easier games in the league this season to be honest and it was a tough workout for the boys.

“We didn’t play great but if you look at it now, we have played away from home, kept another clean sheet and are into the next round of the cup.”

Watson has also emphasised his intentions of a good FA Cup run this season, with the Club now 18 games unbeaten including pre-season – the Geordie boss is also keen to rotate his squad with all his players working hard to earn a place in the first eleven.

He added: “It’s the best cup competition in the country and it’s a big deal – if we get a good draw in a couple of rounds time then great - that’s the aim to try and get into the first round proper and then the third.

“But our main focus is the league and I’ve made a couple of changes today – Ryan in particular has deserved a game and done nothing wrong and we can’t change goalkeepers very regularly as Pete (Jameson) has been outstanding.

“He has trained very well, and I have to emphasise to the lads that they can get into the team just by being the best trainer.”

Tom Allan returned from his Farsley Celtic loan spell and gained 90 minutes under his belt and Wes York started his first game of the regular season up front with Alex Kempster.

However, with the changes some players are still on the verge of coming back from injury, most notably Steve McNulty who is pencilled in to play a part in the top of the table clash against King’s Lynn Town next week.

Watson added: “It was nice to give two of three people a run out who have deserved it and now we look to an important league game next week with a full week of training.

“There are a few big games coming in the next month and we are hoping to get a few back from injury and we can’t rush them either – so it’s an important week.”

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