Matthews vows to attack in Muratti replay

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Despite unprecedented hype – or perhaps because of it – the first game in Guernsey two weekends ago fell flat on its face and ended in a dire 0-0 draw.

But Matthews knows attacking football is what the fans want to see – and that’s what he plans to deliver when the whistle goes at 3 pm tomorrow.

‘I think the occasion got to the players in Guernsey and nobody wanted to make a mistake,’ he said.

‘We didn’t play anywhere as well as we can.

Football is meant to be played on the ground and that just didn’t happen in Guernsey.

‘My approach tomorrow will be to play attacking football – that is it.

‘It’s what the fans want to see and we’ve got the players to do it.

We’ve got a midfield that likes to go forward and attackers who can run at people.

And we’ve got the defence and goalkeeper to stay solid at the back.’ But Matthews concedes that the only spark of attacking flare in Guernsey appeared when young Craig Leitch came off the bench in extra time.

After ghosting past Guernsey’s Stuart Polson he was within a whisker of stealing the Vase and the glory at the death.

And, were it not for a last ditch tackle from a desperate Guernsey defender, 21-year-old Leitch would have gone down in history as the man who won the Centenary Muratti for Jersey.

‘He did well when he came on,’ said Matthews, ‘and I think we brought him on at the right time.

He was disappointed to be left out and that’s good.

If players are disappointed at being left out it shows they are desperate to play.

But it is the way they react that counts and I can tell you the way Craig has reacted has been first class.’ Leitch may or may not be on the bench tomorrow, but he was not alone in his disappointment after the 0-0 draw.

‘When the players came off, Tim and my staff and I could see the disappointment on their faces,’ said Matthews.

‘But they went over to Guernsey in front of a huge crowd and they got a result.

And you can only be as good as the opposition will let you be.’ The players now have a second chance to shine and although Matthews has lost five players from his original squad, he has not lost his confidence.

‘Of course I’m confident going in to the game,’ he said.

‘We’re going in with a young squad but we are still confident.

There are no negatives in the way I approach things.

And if we can repeat what we achieved last year I’ll be a happy man.’ The game at Guernsey’s Foote’s Lane two weeks ago five thousand noisy spectators – the biggest crowd to attend a Muratti final for many a year and, although a repeat attendence tomorrow is highly unlikely, Matthews believes the home crowd could be his side’s 12th man.

‘I hope the supporters turn out,’ he said.

‘I think the weather’s going to play a big part.

I think the stand will be full and if it’s a nice day I think people will come along.’

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