By Liam Ryder
Chris Hardy believes that Whitby Town need to improve defensively if they are to secure a position in the Evo Stik Northern Premier League play-offs, but insists that his side have fight.
The Blues again showed defensive frailties when it came to set pieces in their recent 2-2 draw with Stafford Rangers.
Whitby struggled with their visitors’ physical presence, in particular with their second goal, and the Blues boss admitted that basic mistakes cause problems when facing big, powerful teams.
“If you’re going to concede free kicks in and around those areas with a side as big and powerful as Stafford, it’s possible you’re going to get punished and that proved to be the case,” Hardy told whitby-town.com.
“We’ve got to do better in those situations and not invite the opposition on because apart from the two goals, they didn’t really have much.”
Despite the defensive issues, Hardy believes that his side are showing the fight that a team fighting for promotion needs and can step up when the pressure is on.
“They could have folded, they could have accepted defeat in a disappointing manner. They didn’t do that, they kept driving forwards and we maybe had a couple of chances to even win the game.
“Hopson stepped up for the penalty in a pressure-type situation and slotted it very well so fair play to him.”
The Blues will look to rectify their defensive issues when Coalville Town visit the Turnbull Ground but midfielder Davey Carson could be missing.
“He’s in a bad way. He’s got a bit of a swollen ankle so that will be assessed so we’ll see where we stand with regards to Saturday.
“We’ll be looking for a better result and hopefully we’ll get the performance levels right with the rest sorting itself.”