March Town boss Mel Mattless urges players to shut up shop to prevent more heavy defeats
PUBLISHED: 16:35 03 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:41 03 November 2016
Manager Mel Mattless has made tightening up the March Town defence his top priority.
Mattless has suffered defeat in the first four games of his reign since replacing Chris Bartlett at the Hares helm last month.
March have suffered two Thurlow Nunn League First Division losses to slide into the bottom three of the standings.
And they have also bowed out of two cup competitions - both exits at the hands of King’s Lynn Town Reserves.
They have conceded 15 goals in the process and Mattless has called for his men to ‘shut up shop’ ahead of a home league clash against AFC Sudbury Reserves on Saturday (3pm).
Mattless said: “I really can’t fault the commitment of the lads in the four games since I took over, but we’re probably lacking a couple of players in key positions.
“We could certainly do with a ball-winner in midfield and we also have to focus on trying to shut up shop defensively.
“We’ve conceded far too many goals and we need to try to keep a clean sheet. If that happens we won’t lose, and in our position it is about trying to take small steps forward.
“Confidence will come with results and I still hope we can finish up in mid-table.”
March have now gone more than a month without a victory. The last of their three successess this season was against Cornard on October 1.
They were beaten 4-2 at Framlingham in the First Division last Saturday.
Rob Conyard and Jack Brand scored for the Hares as the two sides traded four goals inside the opening quarter-of-an-hour.
March conceded again just before half-time and the hosts hit a late clincher in the second half.
March then bowed out of the First Division KO Cup when going down 4-0 to the Lynn second string in midweek.
That exit came a fortnight after the same opponents - who Mattless describes as a ‘very good, young side ‘ - had also put them out of the League Challenge Cup.
Defender Aaron Wykes went off poorly at Lynn on Tuesday, but Mattless expects him to be back tomorrow.
Neil Goodbourn returns from suspension to face AFC Subury Reserves while David Jackson completes a four-game ban.
Mattless has made an approach for Wisbech St Mary man Alfa Jalo. The Portuguese attacker played under him when he was coaching Wisbech Town Reserves.