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Witton Albion manager Brian Pritchard expects his team to be better when Blyth Spartans visit in FA Trophy
WITTON’S players must prove a point to their manager when they return to action in the FA Trophy this weekend, according to the man himself.
Brian Pritchard has promised to pick a different team to face Evo-Stik Northern Premier League rivals Blyth Spartans following Albion’s FA Cup crash at Kendal.
“I watched probably the worst half of football I’ve seen my team play,” he said.
“I’ve not felt as low for a long time as I did going home that night, perhaps not since losing to Winsford in the FA Cup a few years back.
“We know we’re better, much better, than what we showed.”
Witton raced into a two-goals lead inside the contest’s opening half hour but the Cumbrians were level before the break, adding to more goals in a four-minutes spell in the second half to win 4-2.
Pritchard described the performance as unacceptable afterwards, a view he has not altered in the days since.
He told the Guardian that signs were encouraging in training last night, Thursday.
“I have in my mind how I want us to play [against Blyth], possibly moving away from how we normally do,” he said.
“There’s two or three different teams running through my head, but I’m more interested to see if the players are going to step it up after what happened last week.
“Some people will have a chance to make amends, others not.
“There’s no way I can put out the same side again after what happened last weekend, nobody’s place is safe now.”
Blyth lost 2-1 on Witton’s pitch on the season’s opening day, although Albion needed Anthony Gardner’s last-minute penalty to pinch the points.
Pritchard predicts a tricky test when the north east outfit return to town in the first qualifying round on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
He said: “Tommy played down their prospects before the start of the season, but we knew to expect a good side and that’s exactly what they proved to be.
“They’re one of the best teams we’ve played; they probably didn’t realise that when they started playing again at this level.”
To read a preview of tomorrow's first qualifying round tie, click here: http://bit.ly/QKaDjR