CARL Macauley believes Witton are harder to beat with three at the back but admits a lack of goals is putting his defence under pressure.

He called on others to weigh in to save Rob Hopley, Will Jones and Steven Tames from taking the scoring strain on their own.

The trio has shared 17 of Albion’s 19 goals in the Northern Premier League this season.

“We’re not doing enough in the attacking third of the field,” said the manager.

“That’s an area we need to improve most, whether that’s delivering better quality into the box or making a different decision to the ones we have been.

“We definitely need to chip in with goals from elsewhere, and lads have to be hungry to get into the area and try to get on the end of something.

“That would help us.

“We were a million miles from scoring [at Hednesford], and that’s s concern. It’s something we need to put right.”

A 1-0 defeat at Hednesford on Saturday is a fifth in succession, and a sixth in the team’s past seven Premier Division fixtures.

They have slipped from top spot into the table’s bottom half ahead of a visit from Workington tonight.

Reds travel south from Cumbria in fine form after winning their past four games.

However Macauley told the Guardian he had seen signs to be encouraged by during a slender loss against the Pitmen.

“I felt we looked stronger with three lads at the back,” he added.

“We defended better at set-pieces, and made sure we were first to the second ball.

"That’s something we’d worked on in training.

“Perhaps the formation didn’t help when we moved forward, but I thought a clean-sheet would have given everybody a lift and laid a foundation to build on.

“Losing Nick Ryan to an injury didn’t help because we had to make changes. That was a blow.”

Despite Witton’s slide down the standings to 14th, Macauley insists it was no time to panic.

And nor will he.

He added: “I believe in these players.

“Their confidence is low, understandably, but their effort is there for everybody to see.

“It’s important we stick together and continue to work hard to turn things around.

“Things can change quickly though, and a couple of wins can send you back up the table again.

“That’s what we’re desperate to do as soon as we possibly can.”