TT OPPOSITION Q&A
Andy Walker discusses Solihull Moors
Hi Andy so how would you summarise Solihull’s season so far?
Very stop-start. I appreciate that’s largely been the case for the majority – if not all – of the National League this season but it’s been a particular inconsistent time for The Moors. We’ve been one of the clubs worst hit by Covid postponements – add to that the recent inclement weather – so that means it’s been nigh on impossible to get any rhythm going, particularly when we’ve had quite a number of new faces through the door.
What have you made of the NL vote and all that’s occurred in recent weeks?
An impossible situation. Given current circumstances, I’m also conscious that there are much more important factors than football so it’s easy for me to step away and look at the bigger picture, but that’s taking nothing away from the work that has gone in up until this point to get National League sides in a position to play each week during these challenging times. Obviously as a Moors fan, I’m pleased the season is continuing but I completely sympathise with both sides of the debate.
How’s Moors form been recently?
Inconsistent. L-D-L-W-D is our last five results but that’s pretty much been the story of the season, we just haven’t been able to string a decent series of wins together. Understandable though when you consider we’ve just played seven away games on the bounce and have been hit badly by injuries to key players.
What’s been your highlights of the season?
The FA Cup run. Those games are actually the ones I always look forward to the most as I dream for the day we can finally get into the hat for the third round for the first time. So I really enjoyed our second-round tie at Morecambe – a proper rollercoaster of a game and although the League Two side were deserved winners in the end, we gave them an almighty fright!
Who are your key players and why?
Not necessarily a key player but I always like to give an honorary mention to Kyle Hudlin. This time last year he was playing down in step 7 for Solihull United and now he’s more than proven himself in the National League. At 6ft 9in, he’s literally head and shoulders above the rest. But in all seriousness, the return of Adam Rooney is key after a lengthy period out with injury – a proven goal-scorer and a leader. Elsewhere, Jordan Cranston and Cameron Coxe are big threats as wing backs.
Who’s the gaffer and what tactics does he like to use?
Jimmy Shan. He recently celebrated his one-year anniversary in charge and I believe by that stage he’d only actually taken charge of 21 league games. Patience is needed as Jimmy has drastically changed the playing style from that under Tim Flowers. We had the reputation of being a direct, physical side under Tim – which obviously worked to a point – but Jimmy is a football purist who likes us to build from the back and take risks on the ball. That has evolved slightly across the course of the season but I certainly don’t think we’ve seen the best of Jimmy Shan’s Solihull yet.
Can the team still reach the play-offs in this unpredictable season?
Absolutely! As I look at the table as I write, we still have four games in hand and just five points difference between seventh-placed Wrexham. Promotion will still very much be the focus of all associated with Solihull Moors.
What should the Yellow Army expect from the Moors game stream?
A very professional presentation that seems to attract regular compliments from opponents having initially overcome some teething problems (like most clubs). But it’s just not the same, is it? Even though it’s the only connection we have with the club at the moment, I really struggle to get into the streams and long for the day we can pass back through those turnstiles..
Which opposition players and teams have impressed you most?
Given his Birmingham roots, I’ll say Asa Hall as he’s always a tried and tested campaigner. It’s a pity we won’t be seeing Danny Wright due to injury after his heroics in a Moors shirt over the years.
And finally, the Gulls have struggled in recent weeks but what’s your prediction for Tuesday night?
Well, given the sheer inconsistency of late then I’ll be wise to completely sit on the fence and go for a 1-1 draw.
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