EASTWOOD Town player-coach Lee Morris has expressed concern at the Badgers’ recent goalscoring form - but urged fans not to panic as the club’s new squad continues to gel.
Three games without a goal has seen Eastwood drop into the lower half of the league table, though Saturday’s point against Blyth Spartans at Coronation Park was their first at three attempts.
And with a tough-looking trip next up to Stalybridge Celtic, who have won six of their seven games so far, Morris says it’s time for his team-mates to stand up and be counted.
He said: “Obviously it’s a concern that the goals have dried up recently, but we’ve already shown this season that the team has goals in it and we need to start producing again.
“Against Blyth, I felt had Stevie Istead scored his chance early on that we’d have gone on and won the game comfortably, but the goal wouldn’t come and it turned into a frustrating afternoon.
“We need to capitalise more on things like set-pieces and getting more goals from midfield, because we have players all over the pitch who can score but at the moment the pressure has been on the strikers to do so.
“We brought in big lads like Gavin Caines and Aaron Mitchell at the back not only because of their defensive qualities, but because they have a few goals in them too.
“But it always takes time for a side full of so many new players like we have to gel together, and it’s important people don’t think we’re in any kind of crisis just yet.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s visit to Stalybridge, Morris feels the Badgers have every chance of getting a result despite being underdogs given the two sides’ respective form.
He said: “I’m actually really looking forward to the game, as we’re up against one of the pre-season favourites for promotion and a squad who are largely full-time. It’s the sort of test you thrive on.
“I honestly think we can go up there and get a result.”
With regard to his own involvement at the club, as well as his form on the pitch, Morris says he is delighted to be part of the set-up and, having played in all divisions from the Premier League to the Conference North, feels he has adapted well to his new life at Coronation Park.
He said: “The main difference is time, in that with things like training and so on there’s never enough of it to cover everything you want to do.
“But on a personal level, going part-time has helped me. Last season I was travelling every day from Derby to Hereford and then Kidderminster and it takes its toll.
“It’s also better from a fitness point of view given the injuries I’ve had in the past and I’m confident I’ll get plenty of football this season.”
l Eastwood’s joint-manager Jamie Brough will be missing from the bench at Stalybridge Celtic having been taken to hospital with appendicitis earlier this week.
Brough required an operation on Wednesday and it is unclear how long he is likely to be away from the club for.