Hucknall Town assistant Phil Henry says next games are crucial

Hucknall Town assistant manager Phil Henry says upcoming games against Harrowby United and Dunkirk could be crucial in the wider context of the Yellows’ season.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 10:49 am
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 10:49 am
Phil Henry (pictured on the left alongside manager Andy Graves) says upcoming games are key for Hucknall Town.

Town, who lost 2-0 at Belper United last weekend (see page 39), are three games without a win in the United Counties League Division One but remain seventh in the table and only four points off the play-off places.

So with their next two opponents being one and two places below them respectively, the matches are key.

Henry, who is taking the team in the absence of manager Andy Graves due to illness, said: “The points difference is so small and with our minimum aim being the play-offs this season, it’s important we take points off of those who have similar ambitions and that applies to our next couple of games.

"They’re big matches and we need a good points return to keep us in the mix.

"In a division like this where nobody is really running away with it, teams throughout it will go on good runs and bad runs and it doesn’t take a lot to lose a lot of ground. We’ve had a spell without a win but it’s a good time for us to put it right.”

Henry says Hucknall are largely happy with their squad at the present time, with experienced striker Matt Brian having returned to the club to add options in the forward positions.

Henry said: “Matt gives us additional cover in the number nine and ten slots which will be useful given we’ll have Grant Ryan suspended and Joe Ashurst may also be struggling although we’ll find out more about that in training on Thursday.

"We frequently have to contemplate what cover we have and there are some very energised and effective players available to us in the reserve side this year which gives us good options too.”

Henry added that Graves’ enforced absence can’t be used as an excuse for any poor run, with the pair communicating regularly as to game plans and personnel changes.

He said: “Andy has been talking to the players through the wonders of modern technology before games and whilst it’s not ideal having your manager absent, he’s largely left [coach] Paul Stevenson and I to it and it’s still the same group of players.”