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Ashford United manager Tommy Warrilow calls on central defenders to reach double figures

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Ashford United boss Tommy Warrilow says his central defenders should be hitting double figures this season.

He’s laid down the challenge to Liam Friend and Ben Gorham and sees no reason why it can’t be done.

Ashford United defender Liam Friend Picture: Ian Scammell
Ashford United defender Liam Friend Picture: Ian Scammell

Warrilow feels the Nuts & Bolts should be making more of set-pieces and he expects his centre-halves to chip in.

“We’re a big side, we should be scoring more from set-pieces,” said Warrilow.

“We do work on them a lot in training but for some reason we don’t seem to capitalise in matches.

“Everyone’s got their runs and their jobs to do but I think we’ve scored once from set-pieces this year, which says it all.

“When you’ve got a big side, you’ve got to make that count a lot more.

“I’m putting pressure on the centre-halves to get double-figures and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t with the amount of crosses that come in.

“I played there and whoever I played with, we used to both try and get on the end of everything that came in the box.

“We should be attacking the ball with purpose.

“I never understand how centre-halves head back 99 per cent of dead balls but don’t get on the end of corners that are floated up in the same way - it’s exactly the same ball. That’s what it equates to.

“If the ball gets delivered properly and we get our timing right, we should be capitalising.

“I’ve put in on them to get double figures each. People might think that’s a lot but I don’t.”

Ashford sit fourth in Isthmian South East after last weekend’s comfortable 3-0 win at Sevenoaks.

Ashford United defender Ben Gorham Picture: Ian Scammell
Ashford United defender Ben Gorham Picture: Ian Scammell

They meet second-bottom Whitstable at Homelands tomorrow, followed by away games at promotion rivals Hastings on Tuesday and Cray Valley next weekend.

Whitstable have picked up under new boss Keith McMahon, who won his first two games - including a Kent Senior Cup semi-final against Gillingham - before a last-minute defeat at Sittingbourne.

Warrilow was in the crowd for the Brickies match on Tuesday night.

He said: “I thought I’d go and have a look but I do concentrate on what we do.

"We’ve got three big games coming up, three good tests, and you literally have to chalk them off one at a time.

"The hardest game of the three might be Whitstable, that’s the sort of league this is, you never get an easy game.

"You can’t go into it with the mindset that you’re going to win because Whitstable are down the bottom.

“It’s so early anyway, a couple of wins catapults them up the table. We treat every game the same.”

Ashford are in good shape after the win at Sevenoaks, although Warrilow felt they should have killed off the game long before their last-minute third, scored by Tommie Fagg.

“Saturday was decent,” said Warrilow.

“We played well but it should have been more. All the time it’s 2-0, any manager will tell you, as soon as a goal goes in against you, it’s panic stations a little bit.

"If we get the third goal sooner, it relaxes the players and they can play more without pressure. But it was a good win and I was happy with the clean sheet.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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