Peters: “Players Were Up To Impossible Task”

Following a gruelling month which brings only one game left on Bank Holiday Monday, we asked the Bacup Manager Brent Peters for his views on the last seven days when he had this to say: “Having just completed fourteen games in the last twenty six days which has produced a record of having been unbeaten in nine of those games, I really cannot give my entire squad of players enough credit for their application and determination to see the job through. We have performed in a positive fashion during a period from which just over half of our seasons league games have been conducted within this time frame”. Peters went on to say: “At a time when FA Vase Winners Spennymoor Town from the Northern League, a league at the same level as the North West Counties League step five, have been granted an extension until the 15th of May it seems quite obvious that by the fact of our league giving us a fixture schedule like we have just had with no thought for the staff at the football club, no thought for the players welfare, then it seems to me that they were trying to give us enough rope to hang ourselves. By this I mean by not being able to put teams out there. It has not been easy. What people must remember is that apart from three contract players, the rest are non contract which means we do not have hold of them. It means that if these boys refused to play back to back games, this or games every other night, then there would be nothing I would be able to do about this. Then there is the situation of players picking up knocks, pulls & strains. With no recovery time between games, they either have carried on playing for the cause but at a serious risk of making their injury worse, this or they drop out which then reduces my hand in terms of numbers and quality in selection. But once again these lads have gone to extra lengths to go through the pain in order to get us through this ordeal. Skipper Daniel Cocks for weeks has not been anywhere near fit and still is struggling to where we know he he should be. Then Arron Kirk stayed on the pitch against Congleton when had we not have been reduced to ten men he would have come off. The fact he did not and by the fact of playing whilst injured it has now made it impossible for him to play as his problem is an even greater problem. We had no defenders going to Stone and the manner of the person Gareth Wager is, he played at Stone despite having ligament damage. By doing this he has had to miss the rest of the season and with it his work”. Peters added: “My lads have gone to exceptional lengths within an extremely demanding month, this is due to the fact that they have respect for this club, respect for me and my staff but it does not just stop there because I have the utmost respect for these lads also. Yes, at times I may have to cross swords with them but that is part of the job. Respect is a two way thing, if one shows it and gives it, then it comes back in return as these great bunch of lads have shown”.
Peters then looked back on the week and said this: ” Monday against Ashton Athletic was always going to be tough against a team fighting for their survival in this division. I have no complaints we were brushed aside by a hungry determined team that had lots to play for. Their survival could not have happened to a nicer club and excellent Manager in Jimmy McBride. We managed twenty four hours off before making the trip to Stone in Staffordshire, at two down at half time and the lads looking as flat as a tyre I had to do something. I made three substitutions although one was forced upon me. I moved Wager from the heart of the defence, I brought on Jon Stephenson with Butorins and gave the one instruction of get the ball forward. If we do we will score, if we score we have a chance of winning. This we did with both substitutes scoring. The following night we play Norton to earn a well earned 2-2 draw, but the highlight of the week for me was what did unfold on Friday at AFC Liverpool. They had been having some really good results, it was their last game and they wanted to finish their season well. They had not played the previous two nights as we had, we had no recognised defenders and I did not have one of my regular keepers available. The only way I could field a side was to play some lads that had played in the previous games, these along with lads that had not played at this level all season. It really was a Roy of the Rovers team with a Roy of the Rovers finish. I sat in the changing rooms with the boys, got them organised the best I could, could they take their instructions on board was my thoughts, but yes they did. We got off to a great start, then an unfortunate own goal got them back into it. This was all they needed to step up the tempo putting pressure after pressure onto us. Mark Clapham in goal was tremendous. We go in all square at the break, some more fine tuning by myself and off the lads went again. Just believe, just work hard, rewards will come was my words to them. Yes, the rewards did come but not before a set back of going 2-1 down. After witnessing what I had witnessed and the immense pressure these lads were under, then once the second goal does go in a lot of teams would have capitulated. Not these Bacup lads, they kept their beliefs, they kept working hard knowing that one break would open the door for a goal. Well almost on ninety minutes, Roy of the Rovers could not have been written better when against all odds, Bacup got their equaliser and one point that their best efforts deserved”. Peters added: “I really did enjoy watching and deservedly earning themselves one point. The last game less than twenty four hours later was against my old club Glossop, another spirited display from which whilst I don’t like singling players out when it has been a terrific effort from all, but once again going into this game with no recognised centre backs I had little option but to move Shane Birtles and Danny Coleman there, two lads that had been involved in the majority of our last few games. Not easy to say the least, but once again massive credit to them both. This was really a game about both keepers that did ensure neither of the two teams got the upper hand by way of goals. Ben Proctor pulled a terrific save off from Artjoms Butorins following a clever ball from Lee Oldham, another player to whom just recently did undergo an operation on his knee but has defied all odds to make it back to help our cause. In the second half our John Ogden did make a vital save to ensure another well earned point.” Peters finished by saying: ” Unbeaten in nine games, competed in twenty six days does take some doing, surmounting credit must go to the players for producing this on the face of what was an impossible task”



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