Loizou accepts his attack-minded Haringey Borough side will concede a few as well
PUBLISHED: 13:36 12 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:36 12 December 2016
Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou says he will accept the odd defensive lapse from his attack-minded team after Saturday's entertaining 3-2 home win over Heybridge Swifts in Ryman League Division One North.
The fans who turned out on a wet day at Coles Park were rewarded for their dedication as they witnessed an end-to-end first half which featured all five goals.
Adrian Markus opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a 25-yard screamer and, although Borough then conceded twice, Ali Setirekli set up Rakim Richards for an equaliser with a wonderful looping pass and Anthony McDonald put the hosts back in front five minutes before the break.
There were more good chances for both sides in the second period, despite the worsening weather, and Haringey’s hearts were in their mouths as their visitors hit the crossbar in the final minutes.
But they held on to record their 11th league victory of the season, which leaves them 11th in the table – four points outside the play-off spots.
“It’s a very important win because we lost last weekend [against VCD Athletic]. It’s not a nice feeling, having to wait a whole week to put it right,” Loizou told Ham&High Sport. “We had four or five players out but we stuck with it and I’m very happy with the win.
“I’m not too happy with the two goals we conceded, but when your team is slightly weaker and you get a result like that, you can’t complain too much.
“Last season we were winning games 1-0 or 2-1 – we weren’t conceding a lot and we weren’t scoring a lot. We seem to be scoring three or four goals on average now, so you can’t have it both ways.
“You’ve either got an attacking side or a side who’s going to sit and defend and win games differently. As long as you’re getting the results and playing attractive football, as we’ve been doing, you can’t complain.
“It was an open game in the first half. We felt Heybridge would come here and try to get used to playing on this astroturf, and we tried to catch them out. We scored the early goal, unfortunately went 2-1 down and then came back.
“We were more disciplined in the second half but also carved out chances, and we should have scored another one or two.
“We seem to find a resilience from somewhere when we go a goal down, and I would like that from the start.
“I know we’re capable of going 2-0 down and getting back into the game, but there’s no reason in most of the games where we’re going 1-0 or 2-0 down why we should be conceding those goal, so it’s something we have to put right.
“There’s no reason why we can’t be in and around the play-offs [at the end of the season]. It’s an open league this year, everyone’s beating everyone, so anything can happen.”
Ralston Gabriel, a stand-out performer for Borough this season, was suspended on Saturday and will also miss the next three games, but Loizou felt other players stepped up in his absence.
“The way Ali and Josh [Willer] played in the second half, and also Jorge Djassi-Sambu, I’d have to say we didn’t miss him,” said the manager. “Although Ralston gives us a different threat going forward, other players have come in - the squad’s quite good - and we’ve secured the three points.”
Setirekli was once again outstanding for Borough. His creative passing and mazy runs were a constant theme in their attacking play, and he was a major threat throughout the game.
“He’s the smallest player on the pitch and yet he gives us a performance every week of someone of six-foot stature,” said Loizou. “His work-rate is second to none. He went down with cramp, got up and played another 20 minutes.
“He’s grown on me, grown on the team and he’s won my respect and that of all his team-mates. It just goes to show that no matter how big or small you are, if you’re good enough, you play. He got the man of the match from me.”
Haringey travel to play Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday before welcoming Waltham Abbey to Coles Park on Boxing Day.