March Town boss Chris Bartlett aims for positive end to the season after nightmare week
PUBLISHED: 09:30 11 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:30 11 March 2016
March Town boss Chris Bartlett says his players must restore pride at the club with a positive end-of-season run in after the Hares suffered a nightmare week.
Bartlett’s men were handed a 5-2 Thurlow Nunn Division One defeat to high-flying Great Yarmouth Town last Saturday, and then their hopes of silverware were dashed thanks to a 3-0 humbling by Haverhill Borough in the semi-finals of the First Division KO Cup.
March have tasted defeat in their last four matches in all competitions, and Bartlett says that the club’s sorry run of form has left his players feeling dejected.
“Everything is a bit flat at the club at the minute,” said Bartlett.
“The dressing room was very quiet after the semi-final.”
Haverhill Borough’s three-goal success in the last four ended March’s chances of silverware on Tuesday night, and Bartlett believes his men have every right to feel hard done by after a contentious second goal was allowed to stand by referee Richard Owen.
Bartlett said: “Their second goal was two yards offside. It’s hard enough to take decisions when they’re marginal, but when they’re so obvious like that one was, it’s even harder.”
“It’s not the first time that the official has given things against us, but it wasn’t his fault that we lost the game.”
The Hares spurned a number of golden opportunities in their midweek defeat, and Bartlett says his players need to be more clinical in front of goal if they are going to turn their poor form around.
He said: “I’ve told the boys that we need to score more goals when we’re in the ascendency and stop conceding sloppy goals but we haven’t done either and we’ve been heavily punished - both on Saturday and on Tuesday.
“We had six or seven good chances on Tuesday night, and Haverhill only had five attempts - including a penalty - and scored three.”
The Hares will hope to find their first victory since February 6 when they take on Braintree Town Reserves tomorrow, and the Hares boss has challenged his players to finish the season on a high note following a woeful week.
“Ultimately, it’s down to us,” said Bartlett. “We need to restore some pride with a good run of form.
“We need to rebuild and reassess the situation at the end of the season, bring some players in and come back next season ready to compete.”
Bartlett looks set to keep faith in the squad that took on Haverhill for the Hares’ mid-table clash with Braintree, but will be without midfield general Lewis McManus, who is still sidelined after hobbling off against Woodbridge Town last month.
“We’ve missed Lewis lately,” Bartlett said.
“He’d been one of our best players since coming back from another injury earlier in the year. He’s been really unlucky.”