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Club News

Belshaw pre Bolton - we know we’re better than what we’re currently showing

9 April 2021

Club News

Belshaw pre Bolton - we know we’re better than what we’re currently showing

9 April 2021

Ahead of Saturday's contest with Bolton, we've been chatting to our number one James Belshaw about tweaks to his game, individual form and motivation for the rest of the season…

Belshaw on his recent performances…

I think I'm playing well at the moment, I feel sharp and over the last 4-5 months I've been working closely with Phil looking at a lot of small aspects of my game to tweak and it seems to be paying off.

At the minute I'm feeling confident and although it would be nice if I wasn't needed as much, as a goalkeeper it's nice to play your part when called upon.

Games like I had against Walsall are the ones you kind of dream about as a keeper, feeling unbeatable and making saves like I did, it was good.

On his man of the match display against Walsall on Good Friday…

It was one of them really, there was a bit of a point to prove. I got turned down by them when I came back from the States and played for them when I was younger but there was no animosity or anything.

If I was going to pick a place, Walsall would probably have been one of them where I would have wanted to put in a performance like that.

On the tweaks he's made to his game…

It's a lot of boring stuff, to be honest, which doesn't have anything to do with making fancy saves. It's been more about footwork and positioning but just looking at how we can tweak it because at my age, there's not a lot in my technique that's going to change, but there's little tweaks to make and it's paid off.

We've got a camera behind the goal that records all my movements and communications so it's been quite helpful. Every Monday and Thursday after games we go through the clips and it's probably contributed a lot to me playing so well.

On our recent run of results…

It's been tough and I don't think we've performed to the levels we're capable of. Where we are in the league though, for a team of our size it's a great achievement, but I think the frustrating thing in house is that we know we're better than what we're currently showing.

We don't want to be a mid-table team, we want to push and kick on and we're capable of doing that, we just need to prove it.

I think in the last few games we've lacked a bit of quality but that's not through a lack of effort or lack of trying, I love all the lads, they're brilliant. We've got a great squad here and a great team spirit, the best I've ever been a part of.

On motivation from now until the end of the season and feeling for the fans…

In these last few games, we owe it to ourselves more than anything to prove that we are capable League Two players. Gaffer will have decisions to make with recruitment in the summer so it's up to the lads to now keep themselves in the team and to prove a point to help take this club forward.

Wembley is a big enough carrot for anyone, myself included. Everyone wants to play at Wembley but it's gutting fans, family and friends can't be there. I think everyone has their opinions on that. A stadium like Wembley, I think it would be possible to accommodate fans on that day, even if it was a small number.

I feel for the fans who have missed out on the last 12-18 month journey. It would have been nice to cap it off with fans at Wembley. Also, when the Gaffer is looking to next year, we want to finish top half and when recruiting players, if we finish in the top half, we can show we're a team wanting to push on for the next season and that's big for the club and big for us as players.

I don't want to be a part of a team that just lets the season fizzle out or think it doesn't really matter. We have four weeks left now with some big games to come. Going to Bolton on Saturday is a big one. There's some big teams to play, big games to end the season with and we know we're capable of winning those games.

On facing Bolton on Saturday…

I think being brutally honest, they're going to have more quality than us because their budget is probably 5-6 times more than we can afford to spend. We're going to have to remain solid and defend well because they're at home and will want to impose their game on us. Ultimately we're going to have to remain solid and aim to keep a clean sheet.

But I think we also have to be positive and go there wanting to attack and dictate the game as much as we can. We'll respect them but not fear them.

They're a big club who have had a fall from grace in recent years but they've seem to have picked up
momentum. I'd like to see a Harrogate Town team go there and impose our game on them, get in their faces, be on the front foot and play and enjoy keeping the ball.

I think the elephant in the room is going and scoring some goals. That's a whole team thing so it'll be nice for whoever gets on the scoresheet on Saturday.

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