Greens boss Gardner staying positive despite goalless draw

PUBLISHED: 11:47 14 April 2011

Bethnal Green manager Justin Gardner (TGS)

Bethnal Green manager Justin Gardner (TGS)

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United fail to convert chances in derby match

Bethnal Green boss Justin Gardner was determined to focus on the positives following his side’s goalless draw with London APSA.

APSA lie 20 points below the Greens in 11th place, but in a tight game at Mile End Stadium, the home side failed to break down the visiting defence.

“It was a really tight affair,” revealed Gardner.

“Both sides had a couple of missed chances, but a draw was probably the most fair result.

“They were unfortunate as they hit the post, while we also messed up a one-on-one chance and a six-yard header sailed wide. I don’t expect that from my players.”

However, Gardner insists he was pleased with how his side played.

“We had more possession than them, but we just failed to score. We kept a clean sheet, something we haven’t done for a little while, so I am pleased about that.”

The Greens boss was also full of praise for his squad. “Nathan Wilson was once again sensational,” he said. “The boy is only 17, yet is taking the league by storm.

“It is no secret that we are struggling to score goals at the moment.

“However, I would be more worried if we weren’t creating the opportunities to score.

“I know that as long as there are chances, then we will eventually score. It’s all about putting those chances away, if we want to win games.”

Gardner was keen to put Saturday’s performance behind him and the team and revealed that his side are already preparing for next year’s league campaign.

“Personally, I am disappointed with how this season has turned out. We were aiming for promotion, but now it looks like we will finish fourth or at a push third.

“We have a young squad here, with an average of between 23 and 24. I believe we can keep our key players here and I am going to bring five of the under-18s into the squad next year.

“Next season, if he stays with us, Wilson would be a key part of our team, but I know that he has offers on the table to trial with other clubs in the summer.”

United’s boss also revealed his fears for the league and the use of money in the semi-professional game.

“As soon as money gets involved, things can change and teams lose players if they can’t afford to pay them as much as other clubs can.

“But right now, all we want to concentrate on is winning our remaining league games and pushing as high up the table as we can.”

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