JODY Banim has challenged ASHTON UNITED to go on another unbeaten run after he and Will Haining were named the club’s new joint-managers.
The pair were put in temporary charge after Steve Halford and Paul Phillips left for Stalybridge Celtic and initially managed to keep the Robins’ unbeaten start to the Evo-Stik Premier going.
That saw them rewarded with the job on a permanent basis on Monday, yet the very next evening Ashton suffered their first league defeat this term, losing 3-1 at home to new leaders Buxton. That saw the Robins slip to third but they host mid-table Rushall Olympic on Saturday and Banim has urged them to get back on track.
He said: “Me and Will were really pleased to get the offer and accepted it straight away. We feel we’ve got a good squad and that things are coming together. There are one or two areas where we feel we could add players and could work on.
“It was a disappointing result on Tuesday night but we’ll move on. We’ll rally the boys on Thursday and go again on Saturday. We’ll try to go on another eight-game unbeaten run.”
Former Altrincham left-back Adam Griffin made his debut against Buxton while young striker Jack Dyche also came straight into the starting line-up after he arrived on a 93-day loan from League One leaders Scunthorpe.
Banim added: “Adam Griffin did really well. He’s not had a pre-season and hadn’t played since the back end of last season. His positional sense is good, and you could see his quality on the ball and his ability to pick a pass with that left foot down the line. He gives us that natural balance which we were missing out on. Once he gets fit and up and running, he’ll be a real plus for us.
“Jack Dyche worked really hard for us. We just need to get used to the type of runs he’s making and he needs to smarten up a bit with his forward runs, when he’s showing for midfielders. That will come. But you can see he’s got raw pace, two good feet and loves to get in behind, so I think he’ll do a job for us going forward.”
Matty Chadwick was out in midweek after getting injured in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Hednesford. The ex-Salford City winger came on, scored and then had to be subbed himself.
Ashton then finished the Buxton game with 10 men as sub Rhys Nevins (knee) had to go off so he looks to have joined Chadwick on the sidelines. However, Banim is hopeful defender Joe Connor can recover from an ankle knock to face Rushall.
He said: “We’re not a big squad at this moment in time so we could do without losing players. Hopefully we can get Joe right and ready for Saturday.”
Ashton had almost 250 at Tuesday night’s game, which was their biggest home gate so far this season, and the club have asked for any volunteers to help tidy up Hurst Cross this weekend. An FA ground grading panel is due to visit on Monday so Ashton would welcome anyone who wishes to help from 10am on Saturday and Sunday morning.