DAMIAN Crossley says his 1874 Northwich players need to step up to the mark in diffusing threats on goal.

His side are bottom of Northern Premier League West, seven points adrift of the two sides above them.

Crossley, eight games into his reign in charge which has brought two draws followed by six losses, acknowledges his side performed well in stages of Saturday’s 4-2 loss at Chasetown but the outcome was still a negative one.

That contest marked the first time the Greens have scored more than one goal in a match since the 4-2 loss at Hanley on October 14.

Now he is tasked with his side delivering a performance at home against table-toppers Leek Town at Townfield on Saturday.

The current sequence of 13 matches without a win goes back to the 4-1 loss at Leek on October 28.

“We’ll be ready but we can do all the work in the background and all the work during the week but come next week we need individuals to stand up and deal with whatever threat they throw at us and if we can do that we’ll be ok,” said Crossley, who cut a frustrated figure in Saturday's post-match interview.

“But if we don’t do it then it’s another tough game against a top side.

“I feel sorry for the fans. I say the same thing every week.

“We actually played alright in patches (against Chasetown) but the goals we concede are so soft.

“We don’t win headers in our box. We’re so easy to create chances against. Put the ball in our box and it’s a problem for us.

“We need individuals to stand up and win their headers because it doesn’t matter how much coaching we’re doing, it doesn’t help.”

He added: “We need wins, and we played quite well against Chasetown.

“At times we controlled large parts of the game and looked a threat.

“I thought Jonny (Sodhi) and Tinashe (Chakwana) were brilliant in their first starts.

“Certainly in the first half, for good spells of it we looked a pretty decent side.

“But the second goal absolutely killed us and it was a ball in our box that probably shouldn’t go in and it’s just a free header.

“I’m saying the same things every week, we talk about the same things every week, it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy, it just keeps coming back to us.

“It’s got to be mentally stronger and have more about us to make sure that ball stays out of our net.

“We’ve scored twice for the first time in weeks and had all the chances and yet we went home with nothing again.”

Crossley said the squad will work hard in training again this week but added that the achievements on the training field are not being transferred into matches.

“It’s weird, because training’s really good and I watch us in training and think we’ve got a lot of ability and a lot of quality, it’s really sharp and we look like we’ve got lots of quality.”

Crossley is hoping to add to the squad before playing Leek, while Merseyside-based teenage midfielder Eric Byrne has decided to leave 1874 and is looking for a new club.