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Witton Albion manager Brian Pritchard puts faith in a new front line after signing two strikers
BRIAN Pritchard believes he has found the front players that can score the goals to help Witton climb the table.
The Albion boss picked new recruits Scott Bakkor and Chris Simm in tandem for the first time during Saturday’s 2-1 home reverse against Ashton United.
Even in defeat, he took solace in the duo’s showing.
“I can be optimistic,” he said.
“Both individually and as a pairing, they added something that has been missing recently. There were signs of life up front that haven’t been there previously, and I was pleased with what they did.”
Simm signed as a free agent after leaving Airbus UK Broughton, from the Welsh Premier, last month.
The 29-year-old was Bangor City’s leading scorer last season, while the year before that he played alongside current Witton midfielder Michael Powell in a Chester team that won the Northern Premier League title.
He hit the net more often than anybody else then too.
Warrington-based Bakkor, still only a teenager, has been on target nine times for Division One North club Clitheroe this season.
Last term, he struck 13 times for Rylands in the Cheshire League’s top tier.
Pritchard said: “Scott is here to learn, and it’s the next stage of what for him is a period of development.
“We’re happy he’s put his faith in us to help him do that, particularly as at least one other club in our division wanted to sign him too.
“I think our supporters were surprised, as well as encouraged, by what he did against Ashton.
“Chris has nothing to prove, just look at his record.
“He’s kept himself fit since leaving Airbus, and just needs to get to know the players around him now. He hadn’t even met them before Saturday afternoon.”
Pritchard is hoping Simm can have a similar impact to Dave Walker earlier in the campaign when, during a loan stay, he scored five goals in as many starts to kick-start Witton’s best run of results so far.
Injury cut short his spell at Wincham Park, ending with it any hopes of signing him permanently from the Pics.
“I know our fans are probably fed up of hearing me say I know what our problem is,” added the manager.
“I’m grateful for their patience, and hope they can see that I’m trying to put things right. It’s a horrible moment to be a Witton supporter right now, but I don’t think we’re a million miles from a solution.
“I’m confident the way in which we view our season will change quickly if we can start scoring goals again.”
They got one, from an unlikely source in skipper Ben Harrison, against Ashton only to concede late for the second successive Saturday to miss out on a share of the spoils.
That cannot be habit-forming, according to Pritchard.
He added: “It was avoidable, and we can’t afford to let teams score as easily as that.”
Witton visit Rushall Olympic on Boxing Day, kick off 3pm.
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