‘Same conversation every week’ – City of Liverpool left aggravated after failing to cling on as Market Drayton concern raised

City of Liverpool striker Josh Quarless embraces manager Michael Ellison

City of Liverpool manager Michael Ellison was left frustrated at his side scoring two away from home and failing to secure the three points.

Jack Hazlehurst returned to the scoresheet after his suspension and injury lay-off as Josh Quarless continued his run on the scoresheet, to make it two goals in as many games.

But the season-long frustration continued for the Purps boss as they continued to be hamstrung by injuries and failing to see out wins.

Their injury woes mount after Oli Kilner was forced off in the first half and new-signing James Steele was subbed with a suspected broken toe.

This weekend sees Ellison’s men go to rock-bottom Market Drayton, but the City of Liverpool boss has stress that they mustn’t take the stricken side lightly.

Speaking to Off The Park, he said: “I don’t think we were at our best but I thought during the course of the 90 minutes we created the better of the opportunities, we took two of them.

“I think that should be enough for you to win a football match, we missed some glaring opportunities again but I think the two goals we’ve conceded from our point of view are really, really poor.

“We’ve got to defend those better, but I think our ‘keeper has only had one save to make in the whole game. I don’t think we were at our best but we done enough to get the three points.

“They’re a decent side, credit to them they come back twice, but to concede on 45 and 86 – we’ve got to manage the game better, it’s just poor from us.”

Hazlehurst made his premature return to action against 1874 after his red card against Marine at the beginning of the year.

Ellison revealed his delight, adding: “He’s been a huge miss for us. Ideally, we wouldn’t of liked to throw him in, if I’m honest.

“He’s not kicked a ball for us even know he got suspended, not been able to train, he ended up getting a freak injury in work so he’s not been able to train so we had to put him straight in because MJ’s [Monaham] out, he just gives us that goal threat, he was fantastic, took it really well, tired in the second half but I think it’ll do him the world of good.

“We missed him massively, he’s a huge miss to the side when he’s not in it. 

“He’s got two in two now, good finish for his goal,” he added on talisman Quarless. “Probably more difficult than what he missed but two in two now.

Probably should’ve had more. [James] Steeley had another good performance but he’s missed an absolute sitter, I don’t know how he’s missed it, he missed against Widnes from six yards out as well. He just needs to get a goal and settle down.”

The disappointing story of their season continues to seap into performances and for Ellison the focus remains on picking up as many wins as possible until the end of the season as they hope to buck a frustrating trend.

He said: “I think for the first time with two strikers on the pitch, we look a goal threat and we looked a goal threat against 1874 but it’s just moments in the game, we’re 2-1 up two great chances and if we get that third the games over. We don’t.

“You sort of get that feeling and it puts a bit of pressure on you. It was a freak goal, it’s hit the bar and bounced out and the lads nicked in and got it. It’s disappointing but feels like we’re having the same conversation every week. 

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to 1874, they’re a really good side, it’s a difficult place to go. But I thought we dealt with the hill in the first half really half, out of possession we could’ve done better but we’ve got lads playing who’s not fit.

“I’ve mentioned the injury list before, we’ve had to bring Steeley off with a toe – we don’t know if he’s broke that – it feels like we’re getting lads in and they’re dropping like flies so it’s been tough.

“It’s moment in the game, on our day we can beat anybody, it’s just been a tough couple of months, we just want to win as many games as we can until the end of the season and get to the end of the season and regroup.

“There’s a couple of lads who won’t train, it’s my job to look after players and we’re playing players who aren’t fit, we’ve got no choice. I don’t want to feel like I’m moaning about it because other teams have had problems too but it feels just when we’re about to get somewhere it’s really difficult to build on things. 

“You really, really can’t [takes teams lightly] we played really well in the first game at home against Market Drayton. It’ll be different, Marine went there and it was tough, a couple of other teams have been similar.

“It’s always difficult to go to their place and they’re scrapping and fighting it’ll be difficult. We’re certainly not overlooking them, you can’t look too far ahead.

“We’ll go there, try and win the game, think we need to be better in certain moments, if we can do that with the two lads up front with Steeley if he’s fit I think we look a goal threat.

“It’s about managing the game, if you go away from home and score two goals you should win the game but we didn’t so we move on, hopefully we can get three points.”

[Featured image: City of Liverpool]

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