JOHN Ramshaw expressed his dismay at Eastwood Town’s ever-worsening campaign this week – and vowed that when he can make more changes, he will.
The Badgers remain second from bottom in the Blue Square Bet North and four points from safety, with heavy defeats against high-flying duo Nuneaton Town and Hyde the latest to add to the club’s woe.
But Ramshaw, who is still seeking a first win in charge since arriving at the beginning of November, says his hands are largely tied with regard to the squad he has, and that until that changes things may not improve.
He said: “The simple fact of the matter is that I’m managing someone else’s team.
“I’ve been able to add a few to the squad who we can’t afford to pay very much, but there are so many here on big contracts and who I’m starting to question whether they want to play for me at all.
“It could be January before I’m able to offload some of the lads because the transfer and loan windows have now shut, which rules out any moves to higher level clubs for the time being.
“So my message to the fans is that while the current squad remains as it is, things may not improve unless the players themselves put the effort in.”
One man Ramshaw has been able to bring in this week is a familiar face to Badgers fans, with striker Peter Knox having signed on Wednesday night.
He scored 18 goals for Eastwood in the Blue Square Bet North last season and is returning for his fourth spell at the club.
Defender Liam Francis arrived from Tamworth last week and made his debut against Nuneaton, and Ramshaw is pleased to have been able to bring in two players more suited to his style.
He said: “We’re missing a bit of guile and power up front and we all know what Knoxy is capable of.
“Liam has a good pedigree and is a simple defender in that he doesn’t overplay and does his job well.
“I’ve had to shuffle the pack a bit and would love to do so even more but quite simply, until some of the big earners are moved on, I’m very limited with who I can bring in and, for the time being at least, what I can pay them.
“I’m also hoping Mitch Hanson will return to the side once his suspension is over because I think we’ve missed his presence in midfield.”
Ramshaw was able to take some positives from the defeats against Nuneaton and Hyde, but ultimately was left frustrated by simple errors which cost them any hope of taking points.
“Against Nuneaton we had a stonewall penalty turned down at 1-0, they scored a wonder-goal to make it two and then we collapsed late on, although I felt 5-0 was a bit of a false scoreline in the end,” he said.
“For half-an-hour at Hyde we put in the kind of performance I like in that we were disciplined and played how I want us to play, but then some really sloppy goals put us on the back foot and it was game over.”
Eastwood now have a break until their next game at home to Workington on December 17, with the side from Cumbria currently sitting on the edge of the relegation zone.
l A squad consisting of nine trialists and several fringe players fell to a 4-0 defeat against Mansfield Town in a friendly at Coronation Park on Wednesday night.
Former Eastwood youngster Ben Hutchinson scored two of Mansfield’s goals.