Geoff Butler is demanding his players “start delivering the goods” before the Terras tumble into a Dr Martens Premier Division relegation struggle.
“I genuinely believe we are a much better team than our current position suggests,” said Butler after his side crashed 4-2 away to Welling last night despite taking an early lead. “But eight points from eight games so far is relegation form and you can’t get away from that. I think we are in a false position – but unless our defenders stop fannying around in dangerous areas and our strikers start living up to their reputations as proven goalscorers we will be struggling.”
Butler said his men were “superb” for 40 minutes at Park View Road after a revitalised Mark Robinson put the wind up the Wings with a quality fifth minute goal on his return to the starting line-up.
“There is no question we were the better side for most of the first half but we couldn’t turn that into goals. Then I am afraid some of our players need a lesson in how to win football matches. We got caught in possession twice when we were fannying around at the back and trying to be too clever and that just invited trouble. As a result they scored twice in a couple of minutes just before half time and suddenly from us being well in control, they are confident and we are chasing the game.
“There are no better defenders in the league than Simon and Alex Browne – but all the good work they do means nothing when they try to pull the ball down and be constructive in bad areas. When you give the ball away in the final third and don’t have the quickest defenders around you are always going to be open to the counter attack.
“As a defender myself I was taught that you never get caught in possession. You get the ball out of danger first and then worry about whether it was a particularly good pass or not. You don’t pass little balls to someone when it could cost you a goal if they are caught.”
But the Terras manager said he was not putting all the blame on his defence. “Lee Phillips has only scored once in nine games now. We all know he is a better striker than that and we have to get him firing on all cylinders again,” added Butler.
“Last night he should have made it 3-2 with ten minutes to go, but with the goal at his mercy he’s gone for power again instead of placement and blazed it over the bar and missed a great opportunity to put us back in with a chance.”