SALFORD CITY captain Liam Hogan described his side as “excellent” as they cruised to a 2-1 victory over Harrogate Town.
Mike Phenix gave the hosts the lead after 14 minutes before Tom Walker doubled it shortly before the half hour mark.
Dominic Knowles pulled one back for Harrogate as they came on strong in the second half, but a resolute Ammies defence stood firm, marshalled by Hogan.
After coming close to scoring a third from a header Hogan made two crucial blocks late on, but says that as the final 15 games come around it’s a case of one at a time for Salford:
“I thought we were excellent, especially in the first half. We completely threw them off the game, we knew how good they can be if they got momentum in the game and we’ve done everything that we planned in the week, in the build-up.
“They’re all going to be big games now, and there’s 15 left. I said it in another interview, we had 16 games left and now there’s 15, we’re just going to take it one game at a time, that’s massive.
“I thought all the lads all over the park, Jonno mentioned it in the changing room, played 8/9 out of 10s today, every single one of us, and that’s what it’s going to take now. We can’t slip up after a massive, massive victory over a side that’s pushing us, so massive respect for them and the way they played the game but I’m just really delighted.”
Salford took a lead into half-time at home for the first time since October, which Hogan says was a significant boost for the team whose contributions all over the pitch helped towards the win:
“We haven’t really done that at home this season much, we normally go in with the scores level or we’ve been behind and needed a reaction.
“Sometimes it’s difficult when you’re, not comfortable because you’re never going to be comfortable in a game against Harrogate, but when you’re 2-0 up you still need an extra goal to kill it because if they was, and they did get the next goal in the second half, there’s always going to be that pressure then and as a team we’ve done it numerous times earlier on in the season, we’ve soaked up the pressure and been resilient and we’ve done that today.
“On the plus side for us, we’ve had the likes of Tom, Nick come in, Jack, Pheno, Josh, when he’s come on, Bees… All these lads that are playing in front of us as a back five and I’d probably include Lois and Gus in that because they sit and do a defensive job really well as well when it’s needed.
“We’ve just got so much quality you can always count on and if we do our jobs at the back we can always nick something at the other end and it wasn’t to be, we could have killed the game off, but then at the same time they’ve had a chance in the first half where they’ve hit the post, it could have been closer and they’ve had a lot of pressure on us and we’ve rode our luck a couple of times but for the main part we felt comfortable and I thought all round an excellent performance.”
— Liam Hogan (@LiamAhogan) January 20, 2018
“There’s too far to go as it was at the start of the season to think about getting clear, obviously it does give you a little bit of a comfort zone but we’re a team that don’t want that, we don’t want a comfort zone because as soon as you step off the level you need to be you invite teams back in.
“Harrogate ate up the points tally earlier in the season very quickly and we’ve done it to them at the start of the season, we chased them and now we’re out in front it’s our league to play with.
“There’s another tough game next week where we’ve just got to keep doing everything that we’ve been doing over the season.”