An energetic performance and a first goal for the club from West Brom loanee Owen Windsor provided a ray of hope on Tuesday night as the young forward showed aggression and a desire to get in the box as he enjoyed a free role on the right hand side of the team.
“I liked his game, he was aggressive, tried to make things happen, and he’s got a knack of scoring goals, which is good, so that was a positive,” boss Keith Millen said. “He was one that tired though. You could see in the second half that he ran out of legs.
“It’s not easy when you’re asking new players to come into a team when they’re not fully fit and the team’s not functioning well. It’s not a good recipe.
“That’s why we need everybody on the pitch showing the same type of aggression. The squad is the squad, we’ve brought a lot of new players in but they aren’t match fit, that’s what happens in January when you try and bring players in.
“You’re not going to get players who are playing week in, week out, because they won’t be available. The players you bring in during January are normally out of favour, or subs.
“That’s the situation we’re in. Losing five first team starters doesn’t help, because then you’ve got to push the new ones in a little bit quicker, but I’m not making excuses.
“We’ve got enough quality there to knuckle down, it’s not going to be a nice place now, but it shouldn’t be. They’re hurting in the dressing room, and the fans definitely are, because it’s not good enough.
“We have to fight now, if it’s not pretty it doesn’t matter, because we have to understand we’re fighting for our lives. By that I mean that I’m talking more about the mindset of being angry, being more physical, and demanding that we are harder to beat.
“We’ve still got 17 games, loads of games left, loads to fight for, but the key word is fight. You can’t just drift along and say we’re going to be ok, we’ve turned it round before.
“We have to turn it round and at least get the mindset of we’re going to fight. If we do that we’ll quite easily set off on another run. That’s what this league is like. But we’ve got to get some stronger foundations to what we’re doing.”
“I’ve got to think of a way of getting as many people on the pitch that are going to stand up to that, not just from a physical point of view, but mentally, the ones that really want to put their bodies on the line,” he concluded.
“Some players are better at that than others. We aren’t a typical League Two physical team or squad, but I have to make us that in our shape.
“If the personnel aren’t like that, I have to look at the shape and try and protect us a bit more.”