"We're trying to get the balance right" - Tom Clarke's captain's column

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It was a really good win for us on Tuesday night.

I thought Gateshead looked good in the first-half, they did really well, but we did well to withstand a bit of pressure and go in 0-0.

We knew they'd give us chances and our first goal came from that, Jack Senior read it really well, stepped in and we got the goal.

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Obviously it's vitally important in any league, but certainly in this league, to go 1-0 up, it's massive.

Tom Clarke. Photo: Marcus BranstonTom Clarke. Photo: Marcus Branston
Tom Clarke. Photo: Marcus Branston

Gateshead then have to come out and try to score, and it leaves gaps open rather than playing against teams who go in-front and it's hard to then break them down.

It was massively important to get that goal to go in-front and counter-press on them and get in good areas, which we did.

Mani probably could have got a hat-trick but it's another positive note that he got on the scoresheet, that'll do his confidence the world of good.

That's three good results now. At home you want to pick up three points and away you're sometimes looking to nick a point so we've managed to do that.

Fingers crossed we can take the positives into the next two away games.

It's a newly put-together team, we've not had the best of starts, which doesn't help confidence.

The win on Tuesday will give the lads very much needed confidence and belief to show what we're about.

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There's still a lot to work on, most definitely, but also definitely an improvement.

It's good to get a clean sheet too, that's what we thrive on as defenders day in, day out.

We've got three now, which is something to build on and hopefully we can carry that on.

We carried a threat going forward on Tuesday night, especially in the second-half, we could have scored a lot more.

But we're trying to get the balance right between being hard to beat but also play attacking football.

I've been really impressed with Jesse Debrah as a fellow centre-back, he's got all the attributes you'd want as a defender.

He's still very young, really good head on his shoulders, always asking me loads of questions.

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I noticed that as soon as I came in, he wanted to know everything about my career, always asking questions, which I think is really good.

He's really stood up in the last few games, I'm really impressed, he's always wanting to work hard in training, always asking about this and that.

Obviously I've played in the Championship and he's always asking questions about that and what he can improve on.

My injury was a strange one, it happened on the Friday before the Maidenhead game, I'd literally gone to block a shot, probably the last of the training session, from Slewy, who has a powerful shot on him!

It was right at the top of my foot, it just knocked it back and I felt something straight away in one of my ligaments in my ankle.

Luckily there's no ligament damage, it's more of a strain, so I've done a bit of running over the last couple of days.

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It was disappointing because Keano had an injury so I was looking to get back in the fold and that happened.

But it's a long season, so I'm just trying to get back fit as soon as I can, back training hopefully the back end of the week and we'll go from there.

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