Screenshot taken from conference (cc: George Carden)

Ashley Eastham has stated that Salford City are confident they can catch the teams at the top of the league after Tuesday’s draw against Newport County.

Salford City’s captain also spoke to Salford Now about Salford’s upcoming fixture with Harrogate Town, approaching his first year with the Ammies, and what it takes to get promotion from Sky Bet League Two.

Salford City saw three points snatched away from them on Tuesday night against Newport County after Josh Sheehan converted a penalty in added time. Eastham noted Salford City’s frustration after the match.

He said: “You might have been able to see there was quite a bit going on in the tunnel after the game and that’s the frustration because we’re a team that demands results on ourselves and from nobody else.

“We felt we had been robbed of a victory, so obviously there was frustration [after the game].”

He added: “But after having the day off yesterday and being back in the building today, we have looked at it and there’s a lot of positives to take out of it.

“If that’s the benchmark to be the best team in the league, then we’re convinced that we can catch that and overtake it come the end of the season because we don’t feel like we have anything to fear.”

Salford City travel to newly-promoted Harrogate Town on Saturday. Simon Weaver’s side beat last season’s Play-off finalists Exeter City with a second-half goal from Jack Muldoon on Tuesday night.

Eastham stated that confidence is high in the squad but also pointed to Harrogate Town being able to have fans in attendance due to Yorkshire being in tier two restrictions.

He said: “Yeah, we’re massively confident. Obviously, it’s going to be a tough one being away from home with fans in the ground.

“It always gives it a bit more of an edge and maybe a bit more of a boost for the home side.

“We have studied Harrogate, we will do a bit more tomorrow in our match prep day on Friday, but we’re confident we have the players and the way we’re going to set up to get the three points and hit them in what we consider to be their weak areas.”

Salford’s captain also reflected on approaching his first year at the club, having signed from Fleetwood Town on deadline day in January 2020.

He continued: “It’s been really enjoyable. I joined last January deadline day, really enjoyed my first 10 to 15 games, then the pandemic decided to hit us so had five to six months off work which wasn’t enjoyable.

“But it’s great to be back in now, there’s been a lot in the club within a short period of time but really positive steps.

“I feel we’re going in the right direction and I think we’re going to get stronger as a unit and as a football club.

The former Rochdale and Blackpool defender believes the squad is more than capable of being promotion contenders.

“At the end of the day, we have one target, and we feel that is promotion, however that may be.

“We certainly have the squad to do that, but it’s also about the mentality of the group, individually and collectively. It’s not just enough to have a good enough team on paper, you have to put in the performance’s week in, week out.”

In terms of what the Ammies need to improve on, Ashley noted being able to finish teams off.

He said: “I think it’s just to develop a bit more a ruthless edge to us as a group. But you also have to contribute as a group – so the back four, midfielders and forwards, everyone has to chip in with the goals to really kill games off.

“We don’t want to be nicking one-nil wins, we want to be running all over teams and being convincing in our victories.”

Salford City could rise as high as sixth on Saturday, depending on other results. While Harrogate Town could rise to 12th, creating a 12 point gap between themselves and the relegation zone in their first-ever League Two season.

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