Runcorn Linnets manager Dave Wild has commended City of Liverpool after they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home.
Second-half goals from Kevin Ellison and John McGrath was enough to seal the points for the Purps and deny Linnets a chance to apply pressure in the Northern Premier League promotion race.
Wild’s team were not short of chances and were, initially, looking to bounce back from their 1-1 draw with Widnes a week earlier.
But whilst there was praise for Paul McNally’s side, Wild was left disappointed by a lack of ruthlessness from his side.
Summing up the performance during the defeat, he told Off The Park: “Disgrace, we were well below par, we had a lot of opportunities in that first-half for that game to have been 3-0 to us.
“We had opportunities that should’ve put us out of sight before we even give City of Liverpool an opportunity to have a foothold in the game so when you miss five or six chances in a match, you’re giving teams the opportunity and credit to City of Liverpool – and Kevin Ellison in particular – for getting a scruff of the game then put us on the back foot.
“We were really below par, that’s now back-to-back games, both derbies, at a time of the season where we wanted to look at kicking on and being strong for the second-half of the season, so for us [now] we’re going to have to look at what we’re going to have to do about it, disappointed.
“We could’ve been 3-0 up within half-an-hour, 0-0 in the second-half we’ve had a glorious chance where Louis Hayes has gone through one-on-one with the ‘keeper and put it wide,” he added. “That game should have been dead and buried before they were allowed to get their tails up and we have allowed them to then get their tails up.
“It happens to us, I’m not saying they didn’t deserve to win because they did but look at Macclesfield when we played them, they allowed us to get our tails up and you know what football is like, when there is momentum, things can swerve over.
“We wasn’t second best in any shape or form, I’m not sitting here and saying we were absolutely woeful because we were better than we were against Widnes but if you’re not going to take that host of chances, at any level, you’re going to lose the game.
“Then, there’s a player like Kevin Ellison on the pitch and he only needs one chance and looked what happened.”
The defeat marks a slight dip in form for Linnets after they scraped a point away at their neighbours Widnes and whilst the performance was better against the Purps, they were left empty-handed after the second-half goals.
As a result, the Runcorn Linnets boss has been left pondering over what next and he has been forced to delve into the market to try and reignite the spark within the side.
The Linnets boss revealed: “You know my thoughts, I speak to you week on week, I’d rather have a small squad, a group of lads that I stick by and back each other all the way through and some of them have let me down. We need fresh faces and the process of that has already started this week.
“[The profile of the players] All attacking, defensively we’re a good side, we’re not scoring enough goals, not creating enough, we did against City of Liverpool.
“We need more pace, creativity and we just need a few fresh sparks in the changing room. I think we’re at the stage of the season now, we’re half way through, in a great position, we’re in a healthy but now it’s kick on time and it’s not a time to pat ourselves on the back.”
They face Witton Albion to kick off the new year but their encounter could possibly come at the wrong time after Jon Macken’s side fired four past 1874 Northwich in their derby meeting on Boxing Day.
However, Wild isn’t fazed by recent form and backs his side, he responded: “We’ll play anyone any time, seen a lot of negativity about us, we’ll be going there to win. It’ll be the same the week after against Mossley and the week after that going forward. We’re a great side, we play to win, we’ve just had two bad performances – I’d back us to beat anyone any day.
“We don’t jump up and down when we win and we won’t be crying when we lose. Wherever you finish is where you deserve to finish, we’ve got ourselves into a really healthy place and we will continue to do that, we’ve got 18 games and we know what we’re trying to do. If we get beat at Witton, we get beat at Witton then it’s 17 and we go again.
“We’ve got to be ruthless, get back to basics, getting balls into the box, being aggressive, going forward, taking risks higher up the pitch and just being ruthless in front of goal.
“Like I said, we could’ve been four-nil against City of Liverpool and it’s happening too often, that’s the aim, that’s the target. I’ve not lost any sleep over the result, we got beat, it’s part of the game, I think people need to remember losing is part of it and sometimes you come back stronger after a defeat, maybe we needed it.
“I’m not worried in any way shape or form, when we win our next game we win our next game. It’s not like we’re never going to win again, we need to stick to what we believe in, revisit the expectation that we put on the group and we’ll have an airing of the issues at training. We’ll be raring to go at Witton, it’s my birthday anyway, so we better win.”