Brakes boss gets his tactics right in the middle

Jamie Tank came in for praise from Leamington boss Paul Holleran. Picture: Morris Troughton
Jamie Tank came in for praise from Leamington boss Paul Holleran. Picture: Morris Troughton

Leamington manager Paul Holleran said a tactical change was at the heart of his side’s much-improved second-half showing against Hednesford.

Brakes had been second-best in a dour first 45 minutes and went in at the break trailing to a Glenn Walker strike.

However, with Danny Newton dropping back to help out a beleagured midfield, the revamped 4-2-3-1 system had a positive impact.

“I was disappointed first half but I half knew what was coming,” said Holleran.

“We tried to play with width but we got outnumbered and if you don’t get hold of the middle of the park you are not going to win football matches.

“We narrowed it up in the second half.

“It’s not a negative system, we’ve got two holding midfielders, but the other four - Lee Moore, Lee Chilton, Stefan Moore and Danny Newton - are all in high attacking positions.

“It gives us options to break quickly and when we do it right - as we did in the second half - we look dangerous.”

Holleran was disappointed to concede in the third minute for a second successive week, but felt the centre-back pairing of James Mace and Jamie Tank showed signs of gelling.

“We’ve solved Mace’s groin problem and getting him back fully fit was a big thing.

“Jamie Tank has done well for us. It’s been a massive culture change, but in him and Jordan Goddard we see two players with big futures.

“We’ve been unfortunate with injuries for Jordan but Jamie has been consistent.

“He’s a young kid and it’s been a testing time and it’s easy to play or manage when all is going well.

“But he’s been great and I thought he was excellent on Saturday.”

Despite useful points against promotion-chasing sides in their last two home games, Leamington are without a league win since their 4-0 thrashing of Hyde in early October.

However, Holleran said that difficult spells come with the territory.

“We could have had the easy life and stopped in the Southern Premier.

“We’re punching above our weight but that’s a challenge we take on.

“The league’s stronger this year but we’re not a million miles away.

“If we get in a couple of new players and get some more confidence into one or two we can start climbing the table.”