Gainsborough Trinity boss believes young players will benefit from tough games

Tom Shaw believes Gainsborough Trinity’s young players can only benefit from facing the best teams in the league as his team aim to keep fighting off any threats of relegation.

Recent games against FC United of Manchester and then the 1-0 defeat to Buxton last weekend have given Trinity top quality opposition against whom to pitch a squad which is a healthy mix of youth and experience.

And as he prepares his side to host Lancaster City this weekend, Shaw feels those games can only be a good thing for their development.

He said: “The two young boys we’ve got in midfield and the two young strikers have come up against teams a level up to what they’ve been used to playing against in their first few games for us so they’ll have felt it a bit given how competitive Buxton were in particular in their duels, which all the players have to stand up to a lot better, not just the youngsters.

"It’s a good reality check as to how good the best players are at the top end of this league, given these lads are looking to go and play above these levels.”

As for Saturday’s defeat in the wind, rain and snow of the High Peak, Shaw felt it was ultimately a fair result.

He said: "They were slightly better than us so probably deserved the win on the whole as we didn’t test their keeper anywhere near enough.

"There was a good spell in the second-half where there wasn’t much in it at all and I thought we were a lot more competitive, but in the first-half and in tough conditions we just stood off them a bit.

"They moved the ball really well and picked off our shape a little bit but we changed things and stopped their full-backs getting out which made us a bit more solid.

"We gave up possession too easily having won the ball back which was frustrating as there were lots of good opportunities to counter attack given how high their full-backs often were, but we didn’t look after the ball on the turnover of possession.

"When you look at the quality in their squad and even just the lads that came off the bench, it’s a different world to most of this league.

"We came away with more good experience of what the top end of this table is like – Buxton and FC United are the two best teams in my opinion given their robustness and athleticism – and we’ll keep fighting and move on to two home games.”