DAVE Webb says he will be “very, very pleased” when Swindon Supermarine record their first clean sheet of the season.
They have their fourth opportunity to do so tonight, albeit against an AFC Totton side only recently relegated from the Southern League Premier. So far Webb’s side have conceded nine goals in three games. It is a statistic the Marine chief might have thought unlikely before the start of the season, having invested in bringing in Ross Adams from Conference South side Basingstoke.
However Supermarine have not yet been able to get out their first choice back four in any of their opening fixtures and will not have the option in tonight’s game either, with Mark Flanagan still injured.
Speaking to the Advertiser ahead of their trip to Hampshire, Webb stressed the importance of solid defensive foundations.
“We can’t keep conceding three goals and expecting to win. I’ll be very, very pleased when we get that first clean sheet,” he said.
“We have to be harder to beat, we brought in Ross Adams in the summer but we haven’t had the first choice back four together yet. When that happens, with the quality we have, we’ve got to be aiming for more clean sheets than we got last season, which was the aim from the start.
“Hopefully when we get Mark Flanagan back we’ll get more cover and get that strength together.
“We’re looking to roll on from the second half performance, rather than the first half performance (from Saturday). Some of the goals we gave away were poor goals again. Being honest to get four goals against a very good Shortwood side means we can take confidence into the Totton game.”
“The lads have shown they can step up, Luke Hopper and Josh Morse got their first goals on Saturday, we’re up and running now with four goals, get another win and we’re set up for Saturday.”
To plug some of the problems at the back Webb brought in Swindon Town’s ‘Win A Pro’ defender Josue Antonio, on a month’s loan, and he made his debut for Marine on Saturday.
Antonio will play again tonight in what Webb feels will be another stern examination of his team.
“They’re going to have a good players, they didn’t lose everybody when they came down. It’s a good club with a club a good history, they’ll be there or there abouts this season. I don’t expect anything more than a real tough game against Totton,” he added.