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Saturday, July 21, 2018

We Had Opportunities But Didn't Capitalise On Them Said Jenkins

In the absence of Pete Beadle at Edgar Street on Saturday afternoon, Steve Jenkins said the game against Newport was just what Hereford needed.

He said it was intense game that Hereford took a little while to get up to seed, but hoped the Bulls' sharpness and awareness would improve over the course of the next week when Hereford face League Two Forest Green Rovers and a representative side from Premier League new-boys Cardiff City.

"It's what we needed, no disrespect to the teams that we've played in the previous four games, this is what we needed," Jenkins told Radio Hereford FC's Keith Hall.

"It was intense and there was a great speed to the game. I felt it took us a while to get up to speed, possibly it took us up until the second half. We came out in the second half and had a bit of a go, whereas in the first half I felt we were a little bit passive. That's understandable in terms of where we are in preseason. I think they've [Newport] have had games against Bristol City and Swansea in the last week so they were a little bit sharper and brighter than us.

"We've had some opportunities throughout the game, but talking about the sharpness, brightness and awareness, we're probably not at that level yet but with another two games and another week of training, I'd expect us to be nice and sharp and nice and bright in and around that box. But today, we had opportunities but we didn't capitalise on them."

Hereford's assistant said that Martin Horsell did his job in goal, and sponsors' man of the match Jordan Liburd did well in certain situations.

"I can remember the first half save from the header which was outstanding, an absolutely fantastic save, but he [Horsell] didn't have loads to do. 

"There were a few crosses across the face of our box, but in terms of Horse, his kicking wasn't up to his normal standard but he's done his job.

"Jordan [Liburd] did well in situations where he used his power and pace, but I think they all did okay. They all applied themselves in the same way and it was a good workout and ninety minutes for us."

At times the preseason friendly did get a little heated, but this didn't phase Jenkins who says it's just part of football these days. Mike Symons was also only on the pitch for seven minutes after picking up what looked to be a knock to his ankle shortly after coming on as a substitute.

"It's a game of football! There's no such thing as friendlies anymore is there. They were competitive from the off and I'm glad we matched them physically as well. They're a decent outfit, they're strong and we knew it was going to be a physical test. But we stood up and sometimes it's nice to see people getting involved, showing a bit of backbone and not being intimidated - it's all part and parcel of the game.

"He's [Mike Symons] got his shot off so whether the lad has followed through where he tried to block it and just caught him, I don't know. He' gone in and we'll have more idea of that in the next 24 hours, but it's not ideal at all this time of the season so fingers crossed it's not going to be too bad.

I think Keyon [Reffell]'s got a bit of soft tissue to do with where he broke his metatarsal the tail end of last season. So again, it's hard to tell in terms of timescale, but fingers crossed he'll have some sort of game time before the end of preseason hopefully."

Despite some supporters questioning where the sides goals are coming from and the need for a second keeper, Jenkins stayed tight-lipped over the possibility of new faces for Wednesday's game against Forest Green.

"We're always speaking to people, not at the moment, but you never know. There's another four or five days which is a long time in football, so if we get one or two in that's great because we were a little bit light today.

"The two centre-halves have played another 90 minutes again on a hot day, and it was a tough 90 minutes. Newport going forward were big, they were physical, strong and quick so it was a great test for them, but we probably gave them 30 more minutes than what we would've liked to but that's the situation that we're in."