Kidsgrove Athletic player-manager Ryan Austin questioned his players’ attitude after The Grove were left to rue a number of missed chances when they surrendered a two-goal advantage against Market Drayton on Wednesday night.
Lee Williamson struck a brace before half-time to put the hosts in the ascendency, but the visitors reacted to Kidsgrove complacency in the second period to force the home side to settle for a share of the spoils.
Austin spoke of a rare performance drop from his team and insisted his side needed to be more ruthless if they are to see out more victories in the league.
“I questioned the attitude of the lads in the second half. It’s the first time I’ve had to do that this season,” said Austin.
“We came in at half-time and I’ve said ‘listen, take nothing for granted we’ve earned the right to be 2-0 up at half-time’.
“Obviously, we know they are going to give us a reaction so we didn’t respond to that and I just thought we haven’t worked second-half.”
A night of turbulence and disappointment was further soured by the injury to talisman Williamson, who was withdrawn from the game following a foot problem. However, his manager is hopeful that the former Burton Albion midfielder will still be ready for their key fixtures in the upcoming weeks.
“It’s more of a kick on his foot so we’ll have a look at how that reacts in the next couple of days,” Austin added.
“Hopefully, it’s not too much of an impact injury. Like you say he’s an influential player for us he’s scored two great goals for us today and has played well.
“Obviously, we need him ready for the next couple of weeks.”
A setback for The Grove will require an immediate reaction from Austin’s troops; although the 33-year-old believes he has the perfect set of players to right the wrongs of Wednesday night.
“We’ve been decent this season so I don’t want to jump on the lads too much, but, obviously we need a reaction and if we are going to achieve anything this season we’ve got to maintain high standards throughout the game,” Kidsgrove’s boss said.
“That’s not just coming through me and Josh on the side line, it should come from the players on the pitch and they’ll know today that performance just wasn’t good enough. The league is their bread and butter so that’s two points dropped but we’ve got another important cup competition on the weekend and there’s places up for grabs.”
Kidsgrove now await a sturdy test of character as they prepare for seven straight fixtures on the road as they won’t host a home fixture until the start of November. However, Austin is not making any room for error despite the colossal task at hand.
“I don’t really make that as an excuse in football,” he insisted.
“At the end of the day there’s grass out there, two goals and a set of white lines. But I know it’s nice to play at home every now and again.”