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Interviews - Simon Haworth
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Author: Taran Dhamrait - Mon 6 Apr 20

Manager Simon Haworth sat down to discuss his thoughts on Celtic's 2019/20 season as well as looking ahead to the future.

On the season...

"I thought we did really well up until sort of Christmas and New Year and then we really sort of come off it.

"There's no real reason why I don't think, I think we lost a bit of confidence and found it difficult to play at home. Our home record was poor, we need to improve that.

"I think we need to generate a better atmosphere at home both on the pitch and off the field, if we can work together with supporters and make it a more intimidating place to come.

"I think we've definitely improved on the first season which was very much a season of staying in the league. It's just a shame, not just for us but for everyone in the league that it didn't finish in the right way. We had a really good spell in November, December time and going in to January, it's a shame we didn't kick on but in hindsight now it might have been irrelevant anyway."

Best moment of the season…

"I think the win at Hyde was probably one of our better performances as well, in that run of 11 unbeaten, I think there was some real good performances in there but the Hyde one being a derby, in that first 45-60 minutes we were a couple of goals up and probably should have been more up.

"I thought it was a real advert for non-league football in terms of it was a good local derby, a good crowd and a good game. From a Stalybridge point of view, we'd beaten our local rivals and we'd beaten them well."

On form after New Year…

"We brought a few players in, I don't think there's any real reason why that would alter things. It might have unsettled the team a bit but you're trying to find reasons to stay in the top six or seven and trying to find the answers to keep the form going and that's what we were doing.

"I thought the two Preston boys did well, mainly Adam (O'Reilly) who was exceptional. I think Paddy (Lacey) did okay but needed a few more games. The lads we brought in I don't think are the reason, I just think we lost confidence.

"We beat Gainsborough away and I thought we'd go on from there and then we didn't play for two weeks with the weather. I'm not making excuses, I don't think we were good enough after Christmas but I can't really put my finger on why either."

On planning for the future…

"It's difficult, we don't know if and when they'll be a start to next season. I think the decision to call our season sort of over has been good because we can now start to get the players financial issues sorted best we can, through ourselves and the government schemes."

"It's so in the air that I'm sure like many other clubs, we really don't know what's going to happen, how we're going to approach it, when it's going to start. There's so many question un-answered at the moment.

"We'd usually come back end of June beginning of July and we'd be planning pre-season games and maybe if we didn't know now, we'd have an idea of what the budget will be.

"From Stalybridge's point of view, it's trying to get the boys the money they are owed, tie that up and hopefully start to see the virus clearing up and people being well again and able to go out and live a relatively normal life as we'd call it.

"Only then can we start to plan things for next year. The only thing I've considered looking back at it, is that I'd like to add a bit more youth in to the team next year and a bit more pace and legs which I felt we lacked."

Saying thank you to the supporters and volunteers…

"A huge thank you to them, hopefully we've given them some good times along the way. I think we're all disappointed that the season didn't finish and we're awfully disappointed that our form tailed off but we're also realistic to know that this is a rebuilding job of quite a big size.

"We thank everyone for their help and urge people to stay safe and keep our fingers crossed that this virus can pass."

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