28th May, 2018

Solihull Moors boss hails great escape

Craig Gibbons 27th Apr, 2018

MOORS boss Mark Yates could not hide his delight after Solihull completed the great escape and secured their National League status for a further season with Tuesday’s 2-1 win at high-flying Tranmere Rovers.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for a club which after 19 games were rock bottom of the table and six points adrift of safety.

Fast forward seven games and Yates’ Moors remained at the foot of the table, 12 points from safety and looking destined for a return to National League North.

However, a spirited Moors turned their fortunes around by losing just two of their next 15 games to guarantee their spot in non-League’s top flight for next season.

Their latest win came at former Football League club Tranmere, thanks to goals from Jamey Osborne and Alex Reid.

It is rare for a team which is bottom at Christmas to avoid the drop, but Moors will go down in the history books alongside the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland who managed to achieve such a feat, albeit in the Premier League.

Yates, who joined Moors in November after taking over from Richard Money, was full of praise for the effort his players put in to defy the odds.

“I’m proud and delighted for every one of those boys who’ve worked their socks off,” he said.

“Every one of them has been outstanding since I walked through the door.

“They come in every day and they train hard and they’ve been part of the group.

“When we walked in the door in November, I don’t think that many people gave us too much chance.

“We were a team that were just getting beaten and we had to try and change that mental block, if you like.

“It was going to be about everybody putting a shift in.

“My players have had to play under intense pressure for 26 games because we’ve had to win.

“It’s come down to the last but one game of the season because of the situation we were in.”

Yates was also quick to praise the Moors fans who stuck by their team during a difficult patch to witness a remarkable end to the season.

“We haven’t got the biggest support base in the world, but we’ve got people who are passionate about it, people who care,” he added.

“They’ve turned up again at Tranmere, not in great numbers, but we haven’t got that many to start with.

“Everyone’s Blues, Villa, Albion and it’s just where we are.

“Going forward we’d like to increase that fan base and do all we can to do that.”

Yates is hoping the fans come out in force on Saturday for Moors’ final league game of the campaign against visitors Eastleigh, knowing victory could see them end the season in 14th if Gateshead fail to beat Leyton Orient.

“If we can get a good crowd to give these boys a massive send-off on Saturday, that would be fantastic,” he said.

“Although 12 games ago people starting saying we could do this, it’s taken us a while because of the position we were in.

“Hopefully everyone can have a good performance on Saturday, keep our home unbeaten record (under Yates) going and also reward the supporters.”

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