Johnny Harvey is demanding more from summer signing Nico Salazar after the Colombian striker netted a hat-trick in Penicuik Athletic’s 4-2 win over Coldstream.
Cuikie came from behind again to make it two wins from two to go top of Conference A in the East of Scotland League.
It was 2-2 with 15 minutes to go against the Borders’ team but Salazar struck twice late on to clinch victory against for Harvey’s men. Manager Harvey admitted he couldn’t argue with the striker’s finishing ability but believes he can improve on other aspects of his game.
He said: “He scored three good goals, you can’t argue with his finishing but his overall performance can be better. He’s only a young lad, so that will come through coaching and the experience of playing at this level, but we have got a way of playing and Nico needs to learn that quick. You need to work hard from the front, you need to be strong in possession and it is these bits of the game that I think he can tidy up. But certainly when he is one on one with the goalkeeper I fancy him every time and he is making a wee name for himself. Hopefully if he tidies up bits of his game and he keeps the goals coming he is going to have a good season for us.”
Harvey was relieved to get the victory last weekend as Cuikie were far from their best. Matt Corfield scored direct from a corner to give Coldstream the lead. Penicuik responded through Salazar who fired home the leveller. They turned the game on its head when Arran Ponton slid the ball into the net. Coldstream looked threatening on the counter and Penicuik goalkeeper Thomas Cordery had to be at his best to deny them but he could do nothing about Corfield rifling home a deserved equaliser. Salazar though scored again soon after and completed his hat-trick in injury time.
Harvey said: “I was relieved we got the three points against Coldsteam because we certainly weren’t anywhere near our best. I was pretty frustrated at the boys’ performance. I was critical of them in the dressing room but I was critical of myself – I think I could have been better too. I’ll never shirk responsibility. That’s not going to be acceptable throughout the remainder of the season.”
Next up for Cuikie is Hill of Beath in the second round of the Alex Jack Cup.
Harvey added: “I’m sure the boys will be up for this one. Hopefully, it doesn’t need me to say much – that is a top Superleague team. If we start the way we have started for the last three or four games, we will be out of the game after half an hour.”