Aspin takes positives from Tranmere defeat

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Neil Aspin said there were plenty of positives to take from FC Halifax Town’s 1-0 defeat at Tranmere.

The Shaymen kept Rovers at bay with a dogged performance until Andy Mangan’s goal with 15 minutes remaining.

Town are still without a point so far this season but looked more solid defensively after their recent deficiencies at the back, and Aspin was encouraged by what he saw.

“We’re on a poor run and confidence is not high so when you come away to a team who are expected to get promotion and in front of a big crowd, players have to show character,” he said.

“I said before the game that I’d get a better idea of our team’s going to compete by how they performed and I thought there were a lot of positives.

“They showed they can compete at this level.

“The one thing we desperately need is some luck but I was very encouraged by the performance and I was also pleased with the support.

“They gave the team and myself good support.

“It’s difficult if you support a club that’s not winning games, there’s nobody understands that more than me and I feel that more than anyone.

“But if they can play with the same desire and determination that they did tonight then I’m sure that once we get a result we can build on that.”

Aspin said the nature of Tranmere’s goal was unfortunate, coming moments after Town had spurned a good chance to score at the other end.

“When you’ve conceded seven goals in the previous three games, going away to Tranmere I think you desperately want to stay in the game as long as possible,” he said.

“That’s why we had a game-plan we felt would suit us and we felt we could always gamble nearer the end, which is what we did.

“In a way it was our downfall because we had a chance on the break to go 1-0 in front and then we’ve got a lot of players out of position and we get done down the other end.

“That’s just the way things are going at the moment.

“I’ve always said if the players give me 100 per cent in terms of effort and commitment then I don’t ask for any more.

“On Saturday they received a lot of criticism because I felt it was a game we should be winning.

“But tonight I was happy with the performance, just disappointed with the result.”

Aspin shuffled his pack in defence, with James Bolton partnering Matty Brown at centre-back and Kevin Roberts making his first appearance of the season at right-back, and the Town boss felt it worked well.

He added: “If the defending’s poor then I’ve got to do something about it.

“When you concede three in the first game, you’re then looking to make a change in the next game.

“Then after conceding three on Saturday I’m looking to make changes again.

“I felt we had a good balance. The reason James Bolton played in there is because he’s very mobile, he’s got a lot more pace than what we’ve had in defence.

“Then whoever’s alongside him, it compensates for their lack of pace.

We tried to get the balance that would get us a clean sheet.

“Unfortunately we’ve just come unstuck at the end but in terms of clear cut chances I don’t think they made too many.”