20th Jul, 2019

Performance levels anger Davis as Reds make losing start

Liam Moakes 16th Aug, 2018 Updated: 16th Aug, 2018

THE MANNER of Redditch United’s successive defeats during the opening week of the Evo-Stik South Premier Central season were “totally unacceptable” and “significant changes” will be made before Saturday’s home clash with buoyant St Ives Town, according to boss Paul Davis.

Davis, while admitting he thought it would take time for the players to gel, was left angry with the level of performances shown during the 5-2 defeat at AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday and in the 4-2 home loss to Barwell on Tuesday.

“We’ve conceded nine goals in two games, with individual mistakes causing all of them and that is indefensible,” said the Reds manager.

“As ruthless as it may come across, the only option is to make personnel changes.

“At full-time on Tuesday, I told the players a few home-truths. What was said in the dressing room will stay in there, but everyone left knowing that repeated performances will not be tolerated.”

Davis added the “only positive” the Reds can take from the opening two league fixtures was the amount of chances created and goals scored.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash at the TRICO Stadium against a St Ives side with a 100 per cent league record so far, the Reds manager outlined what challenges the Saints will present his side.

“To win two games from two is a good achievement, but the games they have won make that feat even more impressive,” he added.

“To beat Tamworth, who I believe are one of the favourites this season, on the opening day, then make the long trip to Lowestoft on Tuesday night and collect three points – those victories will make people sit up and take note.

“They will be organised – they haven’t conceded a goal yet – and will have a steel and determination. We need to match that attitude to give ourselves a chance of winning the game.”

On Saturday, Redditch conceded two goals in the opening eight minutes before heading into half-time 3-0 down. Diamonds added two more goals after the break before a superb free-kick from Joe Stokes and a Leam Howards finish reduced the visitors’ deficit to 5-2.

Davis, while naming 13 new faces in the squad, made no excuses at full-time and apologised to Reds supporters.

“On behalf of the staff and players, I would like to apologise to the fans – they didn’t deserve that,” said the boss.

“Obviously, we didn’t start well and conceding two goals from set-pieces is desperately disappointing, as we normally class ourselves as well-organised.

“To come back from two goals down after eight minutes was always going to be difficult and if we had been more clinical in front of goal at 2-0 then maybe we could’ve forced a different result.

“We then conceded another sloppy goal just before half-time which, effectively, killed the game. Despite the first half, I was pleased with the players’ application and attitude in the second half as they kept going but, once again, lapses in concentration cost us another two goals.”

Matters did not improve in midweek as the hosts found themselves 3-0 down inside half an hour before goals either side of half-time from Montel Gibson and Tom Winters gave United hope. However, Barwell struck again just after the hour as Massiah McDonald’s second goal put the match beyond the hosts.

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