Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott stated he was proud to have “rekindled” the Robins tradition of giant killings after they beat League Barnsley 1-0 in the Emirates FA Cup First Round on Saturday.
The Robins continued a tradition of giant-killing and have now knocked out a record 17 league clubs in the competition after their first round win.
“Altrincham are a brilliantly traditional non-league name in the FA Cup,” Sinnott told Quays News. “They’re better known in the cup than for their league exploits perhaps. It’s still there, it’s alive at the club.”
Despite his side having kept a clean sheet in the first half, Sinnott revealed he had some harsh words for his players during the break.
“I had a go at them a little bit. I thought they’d done okay – we got in 0-0 against Barnsley, a Division One team. I just thought we could have done a little bit more with the ball and sometimes you need to get the whip out a bit because otherwise they’ll think, not job done but ‘that’s good enough for us to go into the second half’, but I didn’t think it was.”
His choice words worked wonders, as Altrincham took the lead a minute into the second half after Damien Reeves scored his 151st for the club. However, their manager missed the goal which ended up being the winner.
He did see them defend well and praised their concentration, saying: “We set ourselves out with a structure and formation that we more or less kept to throughout the game.”
He added: “The greatest thing we showed today was grit, that’s what we needed. Salford showed it last night, all non-league teams who beat higher opposition show that kind of grit, that mentality that we’re not going to get broken down. That is probably the defining factor when you see a cup shock.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s clash against local rivals Macclesfield Town in the National League, Sinnott stressed that his side must work on their consistency.
“We’ve had some great results here this season, you look at the teams at the top, we beat Tranmere, we beat Cheltenham, we beat Grimsby but then we’ll get a negative result that you wouldn’t think of. It’s consistency, they don’t do it deliberately, they don’t do it because they don’t fancy it but players play at certain levels for certain reasons.
“We still have a quite a few players who are approaching their prime 24, 25 and a little bit younger as well, if we can add that consistency then you’d see a difference in league position.”
Altrincham have drawn their last three matches and sit 19th in the National League. An away win against the Silkmen could see them silence talk of relegation and allow them to focus on rising up the table.
LISTEN: See what Sinnott had to say in full after his side’s giant-killing
By: Max Merrill