Askey’s upbeat on Macc opening
MACCLESFIELD Town manager John Askey was happy with his team’s opening pre-season match and expects them to make massive improvements over the coming weeks.
The Silkmen drew 0-0 against Kidsgrove Athletic at the Novus Stadium on Saturday in a match of very few chances for either side.
Despite failing to overcome their opponents, Askey was fairly pleased with what he saw and glad to finally get his side back on the pitch.
“I think all of the players did okay and the main thing was everyone got through it and they all got part of the game,” he said.
“It went as to be expected, we had a lot of players playing and we have had a long week training so obviously we came into the game tired.
“That probably showed a little bit, but the aim was to get everyone right for the start of the season.
“It gave us the chance to look at a few trialists and no one has come off injured so it’s helped to confirm pretty much what I knew already before the game. The players who started the game got used to playing again and then after making changes at half time, those players had to get back into the match’s tempo.
“I didn’t think in either half there was much difference though and we never really looked like we were going to score or concede.
“It’s the first game and we’re hoping that, as the games go on, we get the results and some good performances heading into the start of the season.”
One player who featured in the game against Kidsgrove on Saturday was new signing Tony Diagne.
The French defender rejoined Macc on loan from Lincoln City ahead of the match, and he agreed that the time on the pitch was more important than the result.
‘’Matches like those prepare you well for the season. I played a full 90 minutes and it will only help my fitness levels, that’s the aim for most people in pre-season,” he said.
“In pre-season you want to get all the players playing basic stuff then devel- oping and playing well together.
‘It was nice to be back with Macclesfield and we played well in the first half and also in the second half when some of the trial players came on.
‘’We’re looking forward to the next game now as it’s another chance to show what we can do and continue to get fitter.”
Macclesfield’s next friendly match sees them host League One Roch- dale at Moss Rose on Saturday.
The two teams met in pre-season last year, with Rochdale running out 2-0 winners after first-half goals from Rhys Bennett and Callum Camps. the new campaign with a trip to Fairhurst’s new club.
“His work-rate is fantastic and he will be a real positive influence on those players around him,” Gulls boss Paul Cox said.
Meanwhile, Macc has re-signed defender Tony Diagne on a season-long loan from Lincoln City.
The 24-year-old Frenchman joined the club in 2011, making 86 appearnaces and scoring six goals. He moved on to Morecambe in 2013 and then Lincoln a year later.
Also coming in to the Moss Rose is Neill Byrne, who joined on a permanent deal from Telford.
The Irish 21-year-old has been capped by his country at under 19 level.
‘We’re hoping that we get the results and some good performances going into the new season’
●● Macclesfield Town boss John Askey was pleased with his team’s first pre-season run out against Kidsgrove on Saturday