REDDITCH United manager Darren Byfield insisted ‘the buck stops with me’ – but has challenged his players to quickly learn how to see games out.
Not for the first time in recent weeks, the Reds more than matched their opposition for large parts of the game in Saturday’s encounter at St Neots Town, but an 82nd-minute strike from highly-rated forward Jevani Brown ensured Byfield’s men returned empty-handed after a 1-0 defeat.
Byfield was frustrated by the result as his side failed to build on their 4-2 victory over Dorchester Town, but instead preferred to turn his attentions towards focusing on how his team could ensure such scenarios are less of an occurrence.
“We’ve got to learn quickly as a team. If you can’t win it, then don’t lose it was the description for Saturday’s match. It’s a game we should have taken something from,” said Byfield.
“People will say it was a great finish from their guy, but we shouldn’t have let him turn. He could have been stopped and it’s cost us the match.
“It’s these small mistakes, especially late on in games, which we are being punished for, but the buck stops with me.
“However, we are a young team who do need some experienced players in to help them.
“I am trying to get a couple in on loan at the moment to help with the rest of this season and, in terms of next season, I have already agreed a couple of deals with players in principle, providing they do not receive more tempting financial offers of course.
“There’s no time to dwell on things. For seven or eight months now I have been learning so much about our players and players in general – things you don’t notice until you become a manager.
“I know some of the major areas in which this team needs to improve and the players and myself are working very hard to get things right.
“Nobody could question the fighting spirit and commitment we have shown in the last four games and we are determined to finish the season well.”
The Reds, 15th in the Southern Premier, face a difficult task on Saturday when they welcome promotion hopefuls Hitchin Town to the Trico Stadium.
Byfield added: “Hitchin beat us convincingly at their place earlier in the season and they have every chance of winning promotion.
“It’ll be a hard game for us and I’ll be looking for my players to stand up to Hitchin and learn from the way they go about things.”