Brian Richardson rubbished play-off talk and expressed his disappointment after Bootle slipped to a late defeat against Prescot Cables.
It was an unhappy return to Prescot for the Bootle manager as he saw his side concede immediately after Tom Peterson’s equaliser.
Taylor Bricknell gave Cables the lead in the derby clash before the Bucks forward continued his goalscoring form in the Northern Premier League West but within two minutes, the hosts were back in front scoring in stoppage time.
The defeat leaves them 12 points off the play-offs ahead of Colne’s visit but Richardson believes his side threw away at least a point.
“In the past, the Prescot pitch has not been the best but it’s the best I’ve ever condition I’ve seen it in so I’d love to make that excuse,” he told Off The Park.
“But we can’t. I don’t think enough of the players turned up, is there a sense of complacency with us? Yeah I think a lot of teams are in the same place, we’ve got to stop looking at the table before they look at the match.
“I’d say most of the lads agree, maybe three gave the sort of performance we expect of them and when you turn up with three you can’t win a game.
“It’s okay losing games if you couldn’t do anymore I think we could of done more in terms of effort and endeavour which I felt they did more than us, they were hardworking and they deserved the right to get the points.
“I’m a bit disappointed, I felt we controlled the game, at 1-1 we threw it away with poor game management in the last 30 seconds.
“Maybe a draw would’ve been a fair result but at the end of the day, when you look at the papers it’s not a draw so there’s no point whinging about what you should’ve had because you get what you deserve in football but I think Saturday we probably didn’t deserve in our own individual performances to come away with three points.
“I think it’s the nature of how we threw it away having got back in it in the second half, I think we did well enough to be level.
“When a team gives you it straight back [from kick-off] you think we should be on the offensive looking for the winner, moments of madness, it was very disappointing and players in the dressing room they were a lot disappointed in their own performance but the lads who put the performance in were more disappointed because maybe they weren’t there as a team on Saturday.
“It took a long time to get back into the game because they defended well but having got back in it to throw it away within a minute of equalising, it’s not acceptable at any level.
“Maybe we had a rush of blood and we could go down the other end and win the game but you’ve got to have a bit more calmness.
“Whenever you’ve lost it’s a chance to bounce back, you’ve got to do it quickly. Maybe let’s stop talking about play-offs now and start getting some points on the board when we did originally.
“There’s always a dip, every team gets a lift with a new manager but it’s about how you ride the dips out, to be up there you’ve got to be able to handle the situation, the extra 10 per cent has gone and the players have to find that from somewhere.
“The lads who are in there [at Colne] are on trial again, they’re going to give everything and we’ve got to match them to get over the line if we don’t match it then we’ll be exactly where we were last Saturday with no points.
“Better starts, more closing down, harder work, and we’ve got to be better defensively. At the moment, we’re letting a lot of soft goals in.
“I think the art of defending has gone and that’s why a lot more goals are being scored, it’s probably a better spectacle but as an ex-defender, it drives you mad and that’s something we need to address, we’ll always score goals, I’m confident of that, I’m not confident we’ll keep clean sheets and that’s what we’ve got to work on.”