We’re looking strong – Attfield

PAUL ATTFIELD praised the impact of John McGrandles and Martin Standen after the Crows recorded their third clean sheet in four games on Tuesday night against Haringey Borough.

Two goals from Bobby Dance made it four straight wins for Attfield’s side but what pleased him the most was the standard of their defending.

Royston have seen a number of different partnerships at the centre of defence this season but Attfield says he’s been impressed with McGrandles’ impact so far.

“John (McGrandles) and Cainey (David Cain) have only had a couple of games together but we’ve had two clean sheets,” said Attfield.

“It takes a while to build an understanding but he plays with a lot of determination in his game and seems to have fitted in nicely, like Martin, so I’m pleased with both of them as they’ve given us a little bit more steel and it’s no fluke we’ve kept three clean sheets after those two have come in.

“It’s three wins in a week with another clean sheet and we’re looking pretty strong defensively but it was a difficult game as Haringey are a technically good side and we had to defend well.

“We did better defensively in the second half after we let them in two or three times in the first half but we scored the goals at good times. We could have maybe scored a few more but we got the result we needed.”

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Attfield acknowledged the fact he’s had to play a number of players out of their usual position to compensate for Standen’s arrival in the centre of midfield since signing from Hatfield Town.

Captain Ross Collins, who usually plays in the middle, was moved out to a less familiar wide right position against Boro, while he has also slotted in at full-back in recent games.

But despite it being clear Attfield feels Standen’s presence in the centre is a key element of the Crows’ recent good performances, he says other players have done well when they have been moved around.

He added: “Ross can play in a number of positions and obviously Martin has come in so players have had to move around to compensate for that. Ross is captain of the team, he’s versatile, he can play at full-back, out wide and in the middle but I was happy with the shape of the team and the effort was good so we’ve just got to make sure we carry it on.

“It was more of a grind out rather than quality. We had some good spells in the game but it was quite difficult because of the pitch.

“It’s difficult with the pitch to play free-flowing football so you need to be more solid in your play more than out-and-out wide play like you would on better pitches.”

Royston now have to wait until next Saturday before their next fixture at home to Holmer Green while then having to wait a further two weeks before their next fixture after that on February 12.

Given their recent good form another prolonged break is not what Attfield would have wanted.