DARREN Byfield said he will tweak a few things in training as he bids to get Redditch United back on both the goal and victory trail.
The Reds are now four matches without a win in all competitions after Saturday’s frustrating 1-0 home defeat to Coalville Town in the FA Trophy first qualifying round and Byfield admits his side have been ultra-reliant on the goals of Dior Angus and Spencer Weir-Daley, who have netted 26 between them in all competitions this season.
The latter missed the Trophy exit to Northern League Premier outfit Coalville – who also dumped the Reds out of the FA Cup last season – through illness and is doubtful for Saturday’s league visit of Merthyr Town, whilst top scorer Angus is also a concern with a hamstring injury picked up last time out.
Despite playing well, Byfield’s side also drew blanks against title-chasing Kettering Town and Hitchin Town in October and the boss knows more help is required from elsewhere if the sixth placed Reds are to maintain their Southern Premier play-off challenge.
“I cannot fault the boys for their effort and commitment this season and we’ve played some really good stuff at times. I’m delighted with our progress from last season,” said Byfield.
“However, it does seem at the moment that if Spencer or Dior don’t score then we don’t score. Some of that is down to me, as in the way we are setting up, but they are marked men now after the goals they’ve scored this season and we will need to find other ways of scoring goals.
“We’ll work on new ideas in training and develop ways of getting other players into the box. You can never have enough options and tactics are very important in this game, especially when you have injury concerns.”
On Saturday, the Reds were undone by Nathan Watson’s 76th-minute goal having bossed the second period in terms of possession but without creating many clearcut chances.
Angus saw an effort ruled out for offside and also forced Town keeper Jamie Hannis into a superb full-length save in the second half, whilst before the break Andi Thanoj and Danico Johnson both had two half chances.
Byfield added: “We’re really disappointed to have suffered another early cup exit. It’s not like we aren’t trying in cup competitions, far from it. The players would have loved a good run in the Trophy and I’m fully aware of the financial benefits it can bring.
“It’s gone now though and we’ve got to try and bounce back against Merthyr, who are another strong side at this level who play excellent football.
“They were in the play-offs last season and have every chance of making them again this time. They have a 3G pitch too and will be comfortable on the surface, so it’s going to be a tough challenge.
“We’ve got injury concerns but it’s part and parcel of football. There’s no point moaning and it’s a great chance for others.
“We are sixth in the table and have taken a lot of people by surprise, so let’s have a right good go and see where it takes us.”
Redditch, who have lost midfielder Vinny Mukendi for the season due to his knee injury, are still without Arjun Jung. They will gave tests to Angus (hamstring) and full backs Nathan Fox and Lewis Wright (both ankle). Defender Jack Coates is a couple of weeks away from a return from his long-term shoulder injury.
The Reds are also in action at the Trico Stadium on Tuesday when they face Stratford Town in the League Cup second round.