Paul Smith admits his side need to cut out their mistakes if they are to maximise their potential in the Evo-South – Premier Division Central after falling to a 4-0 home defeat against Stourbridge on Tuesday evening.
Two goals either side of half-time set the foundations for the visitors before a superb goal and deflected effort finished The Reds’ challenge and four-match winning league run, despite spurning several good chances throughout the 90 minutes.
Smith said his side were “on par” with the high-flyers until gifting their opponents a penalty early in the second period, before adding: “We can’t afford to give any team a 2-0 head-start, let alone one of the best sides in this division, so it was always going to be an uphill task.
“What was pleasing, though, is that we have showed we can compete with the best sides in this league – Stourbridge were our toughest test, a group that has been together for a long time and are a benchmark for us – so we are not a million miles away from that level.”
Smith lamented concentration levels, and while there are certain drills in training that can help, he said the players’ mentalities hold the key to ensuring these mistakes are eradicated; however, he wasn’t too downbeat: “Over the last three weeks, we’ve gone on an excellent run of form, conceded very few goals and won football matches, so I’m not going to be too critical of the players because they’ve been fantastic.
“We’ll dust ourselves down and get ready for a very tough game on Saturday when Lowestoft Town visit The TRICO (3pm KO). While they’re on a poor run of results, their league position doesn’t reflect the quality of their group, and we’ll be in for a difficult afternoon but one we’re all looking forward to, especially after a defeat.”
Before Saturday’s game, though, Paul is rewarding his squad for their superb efforts over recent weeks by treating them to a curry evening. The gaffer revealed some of the players haven’t eaten a curry before, so he promised to “ease them in”!
In terms of team news for Saturday’s game, Lewis Wright, who continues to work his way back to fitness, will miss out, but Nyeko Sinclair should return to the squad after sitting out Tuesday’s game at The TRICO Stadium. Meanwhile, Dave Reynolds is unavailable.
Updated 11:09 - 15 Nov 2018 by Tom Henman