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The final touches: What Graham Alexander should be getting right in Salford City training this week, agree?

Salford City’s biggest ever season is just around the corner. And here is what we hope Graham Alexander is doing in training.

Salford City was promoted to the National League at the end of 2018. One season later, they were promoted to the EFL League Two, the highest tier of football the club has found themselves in since their formation in 1940.

Alexander has lost his last two games of pre-season. Suffering a 3-1 defeat to Woking and a 3-1 defeat to Middlesbrough. Despite being friendlies, there is cause for concern for Salford City.

Defence

They have shown weaknesses in defence, particularly when defending set-pieces. Therefore, defensive strategies against the dead ball need to be drilled into the side going into their new season and throughout. This will prevent the majorities of goals that Salford concede.

Attack

New signing Richie Towell has been a stand-out player for Salford City in pre-season. Against Woking, I had the pleasure of seeing the link-up between himself and Danny Lloyd, where the two confidently turned midfield possession into a quick attack.

This fairly new partnership needs to develop quickly. There have been glimpses of the service they can off the Salford attack, but rigorous training and a set method of attack can give the lads a routine to follow and perfect.

Fitness

Alexander cannot expect the same run of success as recent years as they step into their biggest challenge yet. His team need to be ready for a high-intensity season, with 46 league games and a potential cup run, or two.

Salford needs fitness and depth in order to cope with the demands of the EFL. If the squad can remain fit, work on aerial dominance in defence, and find a suitable style for Lloyd and Towell to run the game, we could see Salford City soar high in League Two next season.

Three players that have to start tonight for Salford City against Middlesbrough

Salford City will face Championship side Middlesbrough in their toughest game of pre-season.

It is likely that a strong side will be playing against Middlesbrough tonight, as Salford have rotated heavily in previous pre-season games.

Salford’s biggest season as a football club is around the corner. It is important for Alexander to nail down his tactics within the squad and iron out any issues. Against Woking, Salford struggled tremendously defending set-pieces but looked brutal on the counter-attack and around the box. It is clear that Salford is great on the attack, but need work done in the defence in order to cope in League Two.

Their last match was at home, against Woking. Salford City suffered a 3-1 defeat despite looking the better outfit throughout the game.

Three players, in particular, stood out for Salford City and should feature against Middlebrough as manager Graham Alexander looks to settle on his best eleven…

Richie Towell

In the game against Woking, new signing Richie Towell ran the centre of midfield and was the stand-out player all game. He even bagged Salford’s only goal with a brilliant strike. His high work rate and quality will be important the Salford City this season and is likely to play against Middlesbrough.

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe

In Salford’s 3-1 defeat to Woking, their forwards faced two towering defenders. The height difference made it very difficult for the Ammies to challenge in the box. Dieseruvwe himself stands at 6ft 4 and was much more of a threat against Woking’s big defence.

Danny Lloyd

Lloyd’s low centre of gravity and fantastic close control makes him a fantastic attacking-midfielder for Salford City. The number 10 is constantly finding pockets of space and relaying the ball to his teammates. He is crucial to the way Salford attack. In a game against Middlesbrough, Lloyd can truly test himself against a Championship side.

Salford’s biggest season as a football club is around the corner. It is important for Alexander to nail down his tactics within the squad and iron out any issues. Against Woking, Salford struggled tremendously defending set-pieces but looked brutal on the counter-attack and around the box. It is clear that Salford is great on the attack, but need work done in the defence in order to cope in League Two.

Former Oldham Athletic & Birmingham City man is the key for Salford City this season

There is one particular man in Salford City’s squad who has the experience required to succeed in the English Football League.

Irishman Adam Rooney scored 22 goals last season for Salford City, making him the fourth highest scorer in the National League 2018/19 campaign.

Salford City will find themselves in the English Football League for the first time in the club’s history, after securing promotion to League Two. It is important that the players with experience step up to the mark next season to give Salford City a fighting chance.

Luckily, Salford has 31-year-old Adam Rooney at the top of their formation.

Experience in the EFL

Rooney has previously played for English teams such as Oldham Athletic, Birmingham City, Chesterfield, Stoke City, Bury and Yeovil Town. Amongst this experience, the prolific striker has 129 appearances in the EFL alone. Ranging from the Championship to League Two, in which he has 33 goals and 7 assists to his name.

This wealth of experience, partnered with his proven prowess in front of goal. Rooney can make up for the knowledge and ability his teammates may lack in their new competition.

Fellow forward Rory Gaffney bagged 11 goals last season, despite being capable of many more. Should the eagerness to impress the new competition bring the best out of Salford’s strike force, we could see the new boys on the block hit the back of the net well over 50 times. Which could be an understatement regarding the 77 goals they scored last season.

Should they defend capably, these projections would potentially see Salford City surpass the relegation zone of League Two.

Salford City may well provide a few shocks in their first ever season in the English Football League. The recent form of the side dictates that they will comfortably survive the league. Furthermore, the involvement of Adam Rooney could move the team from relegation survivors to a comfortable mid-table side.

How Salford City’s starting 11 could look like against Stevenage Boro

Salford City gave an insight to their new line up and strategies going into their new season after beginning their pre-season games.

Salford City recently enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Atherton Collieries in a pre-season game where they alternated the squad heavily throughout.

New signings Dan Jones and Richie Towell made their first Salford City appearances, and Towell enjoyed a high energy game where he played a vital role in the centre of midfield, possibly beginning to cement his place in future first-team selections.

The 6ft 5″ powerhouse Mani Dieseruvwe cemented the win for Salford City with a late strike, proving how clinical he can be in front of goal.

With regards to recent performances and recent transfers, what could Salford City’s line up look like going into their first ever season in the EFL League Two, see below…

In a 3-4-3 formation, it allows the solid centre backs to guard the goal. Whilst the talented full backs Touray and Threlkeld whip up and down the wings, providing crosses for Dieseruvwe with the goal getting a duo of Rooney and Gaffney hang around the edge of the box looking for loose balls or knock-ons.

Touray and Threlkeld’s attacking abilities can make the difference between Salford City and their competition, Touray’s first season with Salford saw him assert his place as first choice left-back. Chipping in with the most assists in the team, nine. Salford then went on to win the National League North.

High energy midfielders Towell and Joey Jones can support both the attack and defence throughout the game, and as the squad have depth in these positions. They can always bring in other midfield talents off the bench, such as Whitehead and Glynn. Maynard can also perform in this role.

The forward three would allow more movement and a more exotic display of football, which would shock any League Two teams that may see Salford City as an easy 3 points.

Revolving door: Salford City’s 2 in, 2 out before their first transfer window shuts

Salford has a huge season ahead of them in the EFL League Two, what business can they can do to make sure this season is as good as their last?

EFL stated that “League One and League Two Clubs will have until 5pm on Monday 2 September, 2019, due to August 31 falling on a Saturday.”

Salford City have seen players such as James Jones, Kieran Glynn and Joshua Askew leave the club on season-long loans, which is a positive move in securing their future as their younger players can gain experience.

However, it is crucial that these young players rejoin a Salford City that has at least remained in the EFL League Two, if not asserted dominance on it in their first season in the EFL in their entire history as a club.

In order for Salford City to succeed next season, business must be done.

Here are two players they should consider to strengthen their squad for the upcoming season…

Paul McCallum

National League golden boot winner Paul McCallum is a 25-year-old striker who plays for Eastleigh. He bagged 27 goals last season, a goal every 134 minutes. With Salford City having 31-year-old prolific striker Adam Rooney in the squad, who achieved 22 league goals last season, this duo could be capable of bagging well over 30 goals for the club when combined together in League Two. Rooney is contracted until 2021, meaning that McCallum can soak up experience from the Irishman before he departs during McCallum’s peak at 27 years old.

Shaun Brisley

With days left on his contract, Brisley looks set to depart from recently relegated Notts County, and Salford could sign this 29-year-old centre-back for free. He has accumulated over 200 appearances at League 2, over 45 at League One and over 35 at Championship level. Playing for 7 different EFL clubs, his experience of the competition could prove vital to Salford’s survival in their upcoming campaign.

However, if players are coming in, perhaps some have to make way. Here are two players who should be shown the door at Salford City…

Rory Gaffney

Salford should bring in a super striker who can bag over 20 goals for the side in EFL League Two. Despite gaining 12 goals and 6 assists for his team in the National League last season, the 29-year-old is arguably taking up a spot and a wage that could be given to a younger and more prolific talent such as Paul McCallum.

Chris Neal

Without a doubt, Neal was a great acquisition for Salford City last season, he has over 200 games experience in the EFL with over 50 clean sheets. However, the 33-year-old is only contracted until 2021, and it is pivotal that Salford City look to the future and bring in a fresher and more prospective goalkeeper to learn from Neal and potentially share game time with him in some games for the upcoming season and even snub Neal of his number one spot during the season after. Neal shouldn’t be sold this summer, but the ultimate goalkeeping spot for Salford City will remain undecided until a player who will serve between the sticks for over 5 years can come into the side.

Round table prediction: Our writers predict where Oldham Athletic and Salford City will finish

Salford City will be up against neighbours Oldham Athletic as the two Greater Manchester teams battle it out in the EFL League Two.

Salford City clinched promotion through the playoffs at the dramatic ending of the 18/19 National League season. Whilst Oldham was bitterly disappointed throughout their EFL League Two campaign, finishing 14th, after capably remaining in League One for many years.

With Salford City’s large fan base, loyal support, high-profile owners such as the Neville brothers and Ryan Giggs, as well their incredible run in form – back-to-back promotions. They have high hopes of making a mark on their new league.

Oldham Athletic are under new management, Laurent Banide, an experienced manager worldwide but none at all in English football. Therefore, it is difficult to project where Oldham will end up this season, as Banide could either end up the hero or join a long list of Latic villains.

Writers at The Football Manc Cave gave predictions on where several clubs will finish at the end of the 19/20 season, and here are the results concerning Salford City and Oldham Atheltic…

Oldham Athletic averaged a 9th place finish according to our writers, indicating that there are signs of improvement in the club, and that Banide can push them further up the table. However, if you are expecting the Frenchman to perform miracles at Boundary Park and win Oldham the league, you may be kidding yourselves. With any luck, Banide can prove us wrong and take Oldham back to League One where they belong.

Salford City averaged an 11th place finish. In comparison to Oldham, this would be a fantastic achievement to a newly promoted club, who have never seen the EFL League Two in their entire history.

According to our writers, Oldham will slightly improve after employing Laurent Banide, and newcomers Salford City will give the EFL clubs a run for their money and finish mid-table alongside their neighbours in Boundary Park.

3 key elements for Salford City to make it a hat-trick of promotions

Salford City has joined the big leagues by being promoted to the EFL League 2, but how can they push even further?

Salford has been promoted twice in a row, topping the National League North table at the end of 2018 with 91 points. They then finished third in the National League with 85 points and got promoted through play-offs.

This is a team that should be taken incredibly seriously and could be real contenders in the EFL League Two. However, the level of quality is obviously heightened in their new league, and here is a three-point plan that could see Salford gain promotion for the third time in a row.

Securing the future

Salford City has recently loaned 21-year-old Josh Askew to sixth-tier side Curzon Ashton. This is a positive move as the club are ensuring that their youth players are gaining the required experience they need in order to play a role in the progression of the club. It is vital that Salford City put a focus on maintaining and developing their youth players who can continue to carry the torch for the club.

Squad depth

Salford isn’t strangers to a heavy season, as the National League North (sixth tier) and the National League (fifth tier) have 46 and 42 teams per competition respectively. However, it is best to assume that the team will struggle with the high intensity of a 46 game season. Furthermore, having quality players to bring off the bench may be the difference between a successful season or a bitterly disappointing one.

Fan participation

It is key that Salford City keeps their extremely loyal fan base onside, as well as trying to grow the club’s notoriety in the Salford and Manchester area. Fans are the 12th man in a football game, and in a roaring stadium with the form of the team, Moor Lane will become an intimidating place for visitors to come. If Salford City can grow their fan base and encourage them to be loud throughout the season, it seems unlikely that home games will be a struggle for the side.

Curzon Ashton signed Salford City’s Askew, what can he bring to the Nash

Josh Askew has joined Curzon Ashton on a season-long loan to get some first team action in the National League North.

Starting out in the Blackburn youth setup, Askew joined Salford City on a free transfer in the summer of 2017, after a loan spell with Ramsbottom.

The now 21-year-old left-back may not be ready for the big leagues right now. As Salford City finds themselves in the EFL League 2 after a fantastic season in the National League, where they found promotion via the playoffs.

As a result, Josh Askew has been sent to gain experience two tiers below his contracted club; Salford City. He will be a loan player for the National League North side Curzon Ashton, who finished 18th out of 22 clubs in the sixth tier of English football last season.

The Nash conceded the most amount of goals in the league above the relegation zone, at 71.

Askew will be subjected to a lot of defensive experience, as he joins a fairly struggling squad who have shots and attacks thrown at them throughout the entire season. Meaning that he will be a much more prolific defender after the experience. However, if he can prove himself by drastically lowering the number of goals the club concede, he would be benefiting his temporary club, as well as his own chances of joining Salford City once again as a player contending for first-team football.

With owners such as Peter Lim, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, Salford City are a club with very high goals, and would not be giving loan opportunities to players that they don’t see as part of their future. With this in mind, Askew should be one of the more entertaining players to watch for Curzon Ashton next season, as he is potentially a future League Two player with possibilities of pushing even further, with or without Salford City.

‘Yes!! Come on The Ammies!!! Live on Sky Sports!’ ‘On Sky straight away… what a surprise’ Salford City already causing a stir before the seasons started

Fixture day has arrived and Salford’s first games in League Two are here. 

After The Ammies managed promotion last season, the fans have been waiting on their fixture list to weigh up how they think their team will progress.

As Salford’s official Twitter page revealed their opening games this morning, I expected fans to be giving opinions and talking more in general about their upcoming season, however, it’s been more a case of ‘who’s on TV.’

Salford will face:

Stevenage FC at home to kick off their league two campaign on the 3rd of August.

Crawley away on the 10th of August.

Port Vale at home on the 17th of August.

Sky has revealed how the Stevenage game will be aired on the opening week but that seems to be the talking point for all fans today. With Salford being the newly promoted team, you do expect them to be a hot topic. Although a lot of fans are suggesting that because of the Class Of 92’s money, input and influence on the what happens with the team, this is why they are getting televised matches when other teams should get a look in.

There are some who have given more of an opinion on the fixtures themselves, and some even having a dig at Paul Scholes’ recent betting scandal. Television aside, what’s your opinions on the opening fixtures?

The 2 Salford City players who could have a major impact on the club’s league football debut season

Salford City have a big season ahead of them as they test the waters of the English Football League.

Salford City achieved a third-place finish in the National League, leading to a play-off final against AFC Fylde which resulted in a 3-0 win for the newly promoted side.

After an impressive season 2018/19 season, Salford City will be aiming to maintain and grow within the English Football League League 2. What can separate this promising side from the many clubs who failed to remain in the top flights of English football?

Here are two players to look out for in Salford City’s venture into the English Football League…

Tom Walker

This 23-year-old wide-midfielder joined the cause in January 2018 from Salford’s neighbours over at FC United of Manchester. After previously being contracted with Bolton Wanderers, and experiencing a year-long loan at Bury FC, this young man has a degree of experience in the EFL which could prove useful as they aim to stay there.

Oscar Threlkeld

Also a previous Bolton Wanderer, Threlkeld is a recent free signing of 25 years of age, whose versatility allows him to play full-back, centre-back and defensive midfield positions.

He already has a wealth of experience in the English Football League with a loan spell and a permanent contract with Plymouth Argyle. Threlkeld accumulated 97 appearances for the club and has played in both League One and League Two. Salford City gaining his signature shows their determination to build a squad suited to the top tiers of English Football.

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