Blues boss praises players after City draw

Whitby Town chief Chris Hardy

Whitby Town chief Chris Hardy

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Whitby Town manager Chris Hardy was full of praise for his players after they held high-flying Salford City to a 0-0 draw.

Third-placed City are still in contention for the Evo-Stik Premier Division title, and had won four out of their last five games prior to Saturday’s meeting with the Seasiders.

Yet the Blues proved more than a match for the Ammies, producing an industrious and disciplined display that impressed boss Hardy.

“To say that the draw at Salford was a hard-earned point would be a understatement,” he said.

“The team showed determination, discipline and application, things which we are certainly going to have to call upon throughout our remaining games.

“I feel that the qualities we displayed today were qualities that we are going to need to avoid a relegation season.

“It gives all associated with the club real belief going forward.”

Hardy felt that his side would have to be at their best if they were to earn a result at Moor Lane, something which the Blues delivered, despite a first-half injury set-back.

“Knowing full well the quality that we were up against and the task that this created, nothing less than 100% from our boys would have done,” he continued.

“An early blow in the game which saw [Dave] Mctiernan withdrawn due to a hamstring injury meant a re-shuffle of personnel which made the task that bit harder.

“This was however our fourth consecutive clean-sheet, and I don’t believe this is a coincidence given the way we have defended as a team over recent weeks.”

Town have another tough assignment coming up when they tackle second-placed Darlington this afternoon (Monday).

The North East derby clash is a 1pm kick-off at the Turnbull Ground on police advice, and will see four Seasiders in Kev Burgess, Graeme Armstrong, Tom Portas and Leon Scott return to Whitby.

Hardy is likely to be without long-serving McTiernan after he limped off at Salford, while fellow midfielder Connor Gardner is also an injury doubt.

The Blues will be boosted by the return to the squad of giant defender Richard Pell after a spell on the sidelines, as they aim to halt the Quakers’ run of seven wins on the bounce.