‘We looked petrified’ – Marine manager Neil Young makes stark admission as ‘bad rut’ continues

Marine's Mark Howarth challenging for the ball against Prescot Cables

Marine manager Neil Young says his side are in a “bad rut” as they slipped to a third straight home defeat.

Things went from bad to worse for the Mariners on Tuesday night as they were handed their third straight home defeat.

A penalty in each half from Declan Evans and a Jack Bannister strike sealed a 3-0 win for Mossley.

It was the second home defeat in a matter of days after Warrington Rylands fired in two second-half goals to leave Crosby with three points and a third in a row after Bootle ran out 3-0 winners.

Another home match failing to score saw extended their run without finding the net at Rossett Park to a month, with the last time coming in the 3-2 win over Newcastle Town before Christmas.

The Marine boss rued mistakes for leaking goals at one end and blames confidence issues as they’re in a situation they “need to get out of.”

“We’re in a rut, a bad rut we need to get out of. We haven’t had a situation like this for a long time, we’ve just had a long chat in there, no screaming or shouting basically about the goals, if you look at them, just mistakes, we gave two penalties away under no real pressure,” he told Off The Park.

“If you lose the first goal, particularly against good sides who’ve come here to do a job, we were always going to be on the front foot. I thought first half we were good, on the front foot, didn’t create a great deal but we had two great chances. If you score the first goal in the game they’ve got to come out a bit.

“But second half, once we concede the penalty, we were all over the place, we lost our shape, we lost our belief, we’ve got a confidence issue. I said in there [dressing room] we have lost a lot of players but we have got good players, we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and find a way.”

The dismal form has sparked concern and they have slid down the table with the latest defeat seeing them fall to third.

Workington’s win over City of Liverpool stretch the gap to five points with Rylands’ victory over Colne seeing them leapfrog their promotion-rivals into second.

The blip has come at a crucial time in the season but Young has emphasised unity.

He continued: “Every club has a blip, we’re having ours now, it’s not ideal obviously but it is what it is. We’ve got to stick together and turn it around.

“We’ve just had a discussion, we’ve got a good relationship, we’ve got to have a full and frank discussion it’s not shouting and screaming.

“We’ve got to get to the bottom of it, if you go back through our goals conceded, I’ve worked out something like 10 out of the last 12 goals have been basic errors, we’ve gone from having the best defensive record in the league by a long way and I’d put us in the last six or eight games to have the worst or up there with the worst.

“We look far too open, team’s are putting the ball behind us and breaking on us, that’s been happening since Runcorn Linnets. We’re making errors, if you keep making errors, we look petrified at the moment which is a worry, we look petrified to make a mistake.

“Pitch isn’t helping, lads are having too many touches because they want to get it under their spell but ultimately we weren’t good enough.

“We’ve scored one goal in four games, creating very little. We created chances tonight, we created chances on Saturday against Rylands on Saturday – we hit the post – we had a couple of good chances [against Mossley], Kengni had a good effort tipped over the bar. It’s not good, we also need a bit of luck, we need to make sure we stay in games, when the chips are down, we’ve got to stay together.

“I thought in the first half we were good in terms of the pressing, when we lost David Lynch, we lost that bit of momentum. But overall, first half I thought we were okay and once we gave the penalty away, we fell to pieces.

“I thought we started well, we’ve obviously conceded a penalty but first-half it was all us, I don’t remember Aidan touching the ball – that much – in the first half. They’ve got two good defenders, Niall’s had a good chance, we’ve had a few great chances but it’s a confidence issue we’ve got to bring that back.”

Next up for Marine is another home clash, this time against a team at the wrong end of the table in the form of Kendal Town.

They’re in the bottom two, seven points off Prescot Cables in the relegation play-off position.

But without any initial thoughts ahead of Saturday’s clash, he noted there is a task at hand.

“At the moment, I’ve got no thoughts, no real ones [on Kendal]. I’ll go and have a chat in there with my staff about tonight, we had a good meeting on Sunday night. We’ve got a lot of work to do, let’s not get too carried away.

“Up until four weeks ago, we were doing really well, we’ve hit a patch that we need to turn around and we need to turn around as quick as possible, but that will only be done from within.”

With moving down the table, Young remains hopeful with games ticking down, he concluded: “It’s not over, it’s far from over. If someone had said to me at the start of the season you’d be five points behind with a game in hand then you would’ve taken it. It’s just we were where we were, we were six or seven points clear at one stage. We’ve took one win from the last four which you can’t do in this league the way everyone’s playing.

“But everyone will be looking at us now, we’re struggling, we’ve got to find a way. We will find a way but we’ve got to do it quickly.

[Featured image: Alan Rowlands]

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