Belper Town’s mental strength fueling unbeaten league run, says boss Grant Black

Belper Town displayed a strong mentality to keep their unbeaten BetVictor NPL South East run going at Lincoln United, says boss Grant Black.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 4:13 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 9:01 am
Nathan Curtis gives Belper the lead at Lincoln with a fine solo run and finish.

The Nailers made it 14 league games unbeaten with a 2-0 win at Ashby Avenue on Saturday with Nathan Curtis and Alex Peterson scoring second half goals.

All of which is helping to instill a feel-good factor around the club.

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“We knew Lincoln would pose specific threats,” said Black. “It was a difficult one but we scored at key points and I thought our game management was very good.

“We didn’t get frustrated, even when we missed an early penalty we could easily have thought ‘it’s going to be one of those days’, but we dug in and the quality showed in the end.

“We told the lads to be patient, that their chances would come and they did. The first goal would be worthy of special mention on Match of the Day.”

Curtis’s solo run is evident of a player and squad full of confidence.

“Confidence is high because we work hard and do the right things, which allows the quality in the dressing room to turn a game on its head,” said Black.

“While we’re doing all those other things, working harder than the other teams and the like, we’re always in with a chance.

“We’ve got people, ie. Nathan Curtis on Saturday who danced around five players and drilled it into the bottom corner, who make you feel you’ve always got a chance.

“And all the while we’re keeping clean sheets and not conceding a lot of goals so we’re giving ourselves a good chance of winning games at the moment.”

And added: “We keep breaking records - attendances, cup runs, unbeaten league games - which is all breeding confidence and that feel-good factor.

"That’s what we keep saying to the lads: ‘keep breaking records, keep yourselves in the shop window, keep doing what you’re doing... but there’s a long way to go’.

“We’d rather be going and beating teams the club hasn’t beaten for seven years on their own patch than not, so long may it continue.

“It was a tough place to go, especially this time of year. It was a tight pitch and not a lot of atmosphere, sometimes you have to create that yourself, which can be difficult.

“But we’ve got a strong mentality in this group this year to be able to do that ourselves.”

The Nailers will be looking to extend their run, which began towards the end of last season and includes the nine league games this time around, when they travel to face Loughborough Dynamo on Saturday.

Loughborough, though midtable, have won five from seven at home, drawing one and losing the other.

“Their home record is really good and our away record is really good so it makes for a tasty game looking at the form book.

“The good thing about this league is that you can never switch off and think one game is going to be similar to the next.

“We’ve gone from Lincoln, who play a certain way, to Loughborough on Saturday who are full of pace and power and athleticism around the pitch.

“They are really hard to play against. They look to play on the counter-attack so we’ve got to deal with all that on Saturday.

“It’ll be a tough game, they all are, and it’s the start of a tough month coming up for us,” added Black.

Belper are scheduled to take on Matlock Town in the first round of the Integro League Cup on Tuesday night at the Raygar Stadium.