‘We have to get back to that’ – Michael Ellison makes demand as Widnes host Kidsgrove Athletic

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Widnes manager Michael Ellison says his side have to get back to being tough to beat after suffering their third defeat of the week against 1874 Northwich.

1874 finished the game with nine-men after red cards for Mark Jones and Jack Irlam in the second half, but by that time, they were 2-0 up thanks to goals from Joe Woolley and Jack Marrow.

Injuries have hampered the Whites progress after they picked up seven points from 12 prior to their trip to Workington.

“They went down to nine late on so they never spent the majority of the game with nine so I’d be a bit disappointed then,” he told Off The Park reflecting on the defeat.

“I was just disappointed in our first-half performance, you’re going in a goal down after two minutes throws the gameplan out of the window, when you’re playing up the hill in tough conditions and in the game, they played the conditions better than what we did.

“We knew it would open up in the second-half, we knew we’d get opportunities which we did. But we give them two goals, they started bright and strong but I don’t think they worked hard for the goals, they’re really poor goals from a defensive point of view.

“The last week has been really difficult for us, coinciding with missing big players and over the last three games, our squad has changed a lot and it goes to show where we are as a squad that when those big players aren’t there it shows.

“It’s not an excuse, without big players against Workington we should’ve got three points, the Leek game come a little too soon with the knocks but I expect us to defend better on Saturday and we didn’t,” he added.

“It’s clear we don’t score enough goals, I think we’ve scored one in three but in all of those games we’ve created opportunities, we created two fantastic in the second half on Saturday and we’ve not hit the target with either of them, we’ve got to be more clinical but ultimately we can’t give teams head starts.”

Kidsgrove Athletic visit the DCBL Stadium this weekend as Widnes look to return to winning ways and move out of the relegation zone.

Three points separate them and City of Liverpool in 18th but they still sit six points away from safety.

He continued: “A week is a long time in football, in the previous week we had seven [points] out of nine, we’ve had three games in a week and come away with nothing, it could’ve been different but it’s fine margins.

“If we could get one or two back, we’ve got two games at home, we’ll be looking to get maximum points and that’s what we have to do. I think we’ve been decent at home, tough to beat, we have to get back to that.

“They’re a good side, physical, got two physical forwards who are a handful but you’ve got to defend them first and foremost.

“The lads have to keep their concentration, defend well and stay in the game but that goes for every team in the league.

“There’s no easy games in this league, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing or where you’re playing them, we’ve got to be hard to beat and when the game starts to open up, we’ve got to be in the game to give us a chance to win it but we’ve got to be defensively better for a start.

“It’s going to be a tough game but we’re at home, that’s a tough week gone but we’ve got to concentrate on Saturday, go into it with a gameplan and try get something.”

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