Billy Paynter was pleased with the response from his Runcorn Linnets players but has issued a warning over “disrespecting” Charnock Richard.
Linnets had a mixed Bank Holiday weekend as they were humbled away to Kidsgrove Athletic, who continued their unbeaten run to start the Northern Premier League West campaign.
“We always knew that Kidsgrove Athletic away is a tough game to play, they’re very strong at home,” Paynter told Off The Park.
“They’ve started off really well this season, confidence is flying for them so we knew we were going to have to roll up our sleeves and be ready for the battle but I think what I wanted was to be more on the front foot, be brave, which we didn’t do.
“Kidsgrove were aggressive and they were the better footballing side on the day, which is disappointing for the quality that we have in our side.
“I wanted a bit more bravery from my midfield but they [Kidsgrove] pressed well and I thought, we didn’t really lay a glove on them on the day.”
They bounced back from their disappointment in Staffordshire with a win over Witton Albion. Jon Macken’s side have received praise in recent weeks for their quality and have been tipped to be in and around the playoffs, after narrowly missing out last season.
Paynter told his side that they “owed themselves” a performance following their defeat, and with the short turnaround they managed to inflict defeat on Witton to return to winning ways.
He continued: “I said to the players beforehand they owe their teammates a performance, more so owing themselves a performance as well.
“I was expecting a response from them, they’re a good bunch, I just don’t think they’ve clicked yet this season. It showed good parts of the game what we can do, once we get into the final third, we’ve got that quality to put it in the back of the net.
“Once we got the first goal, it looked like we got the confidence back and belief that we could win the game.”
A place in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup beckons for Runcorn Linnets. However, they face the tricky task of overcoming North West Counties side Charnock Richard.
Charnock have made a positive start to the season and Paynter has warned his side that going into the game expecting an easy ride, could leave them red-faced.
He added: “If you go into the game thinking just about us, you’re disrespecting Charnock. What I’ve watched, they’re very solid in defence, got good midfielders and a powerful striker who can cause damage on the day.
“We have to be on our A-Game, move the game quickly and punish them when we get into the final third. I’m always confident in my team that if we turn up, I think we can punish Charnock.”