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Witton Albion manager Brian Pritchard seeks reaction to 'worst performance' in his tenure
AFTER reaching a nadir, Brian Pritchard is determined to deliver an improved Witton this weekend.
The Albion boss described his players’ performance in Tuesday’s defeat at FC United of Manchester as one of the worst since he took sole responsibility for picking the team.
For some, chances to convince him they can put right early-season wrongs are fast running out.
“We deserve to be where we are in the table,” said Pritchard.
“The effort hasn’t been there and we’ve made too many individual mistakes.
“We need to do a lot of work to catch-up; it’s not that we don’t have the quality within the group, but mentally there’s an issue.”
Witton were beaten inside half an hour at Gigg Lane, trailing 2-0 even before Oliver James’ deserved dismissal for a dangerous tackle on Oliver Banks.
The visitors rallied briefly after the interval, their hopes raised by a red card for Rebels midfielder Chris Worsley, only for a mistake by goalkeeper Matt Cooper to gift the hosts a third goal.
Pritchard added: “It was one of most disappointing performances I can remember. We let ourselves down.
“That’s not to take anything away from FCUM; they were confident and moved the ball well around the pitch.
“But collectively, after two encouraging performances in which we’d kept clean sheets, we failed.
“I didn’t shout afterwards, instead I opened the floor to the players to try and get some answers.
“I refuse to have a go at Matt [Cooper]; look at his performance last Saturday [against King’s Lynn] when he kept us in the game.
“He’ll relive that mistake over and over, and I can’t legislate for that as manager.”
Pritchard was in the stand last night, Thursday, to watch Witton’s reserves put eight goals past Bootle in a Lancashire League encounter.
There was playing time for midfield trio Anthony Sheehan, Jon Dawson and Matt Purcell, plus front man Neville Thompson, goalkeeper Stuart Plant and returning Steven Connors.
The Witton boss added: “It will have done them all a power of good.
“Some people need to be sharper, there’s no doubt about it.
“We had the world’s worst pre-season, and we’re continuing to feel the impact of that even if I know that can’t be an excuse for much longer.”
Witton visit fast-starting Ilkeston tomorrow, Saturday, kick off 3pm.
The Robins have won four of their six matches so far, with only two teams – FC United and Worksop Town – scoring more goals to date.
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