‘We can’t feel sorry for ourselves’ – Widnes manager Michael Ellison makes Mossley demand after two defeats

Widnes FC Featured Image Off The Park

Widnes manager Michael Ellisonn insists his side mustn’t feel sorry for themselves after they fell to back-to-back defeats in his first two games in charge.

Ellison was appointed as the new manager of the Whites following the departure of Dave Dempsey, last weekend.

The former City of Liverpool manager ended his short spell away from the dugout and was immediately thrust into a trip to Macclesfield in the FA Trophy.

He was relieved of his duties at the Purps following their narrow defeat to Bootle in August as they sat at the foot of the table.

The promotion-winning manager with Runcorn Linnets admitted that he wasn’t looking to immediately jump back into the hot seat but felt the opportunity was too good to turn down.

Speaking to Off The Park for the first time since his arrival, he said: “I wasn’t in no rush to rush back into things, I had a phone call on Saturday evening with the chairman and he just said they parted ways with the previous manager.

“We had a chat on the Monday, he just told me the plans for the club and what they want to do moving forward, I was impressed to be honest, I just thought it was something I wanted to be apart of.

“I’m under no illusions it’s a big job and not in a position where they want to be, I looked at it and thought there’s plenty of games left in the season to turn things around.

“It’s very early days to be pressing panic buttons so I spoke to the chairman, I thought it was something I’d like to do, I spoke to my staff they wanted to get back in and on Tuesday it was done and dusted.”

The high-flying Macclesfield, eventually, surged into the next round of the FA Trophy at Widnes’ expense despite falling a goal behind thanks to Dec Daniels’ effort.

Danny Whitaker’s side eventually ran out 5-1 winners. The Whites then were narrowly beaten away at Newcastle Town as Ellison’s 10-men were edged out on Tuesday.

He continued: “It’s tough, we come in and knew some of the lads in the Macclesfield game. It was a trophy game, not an ideal game to come in in your first game, we had one session for an hour.

“We didn’t get a ‘keeper in till Friday night, the ‘keeper left which is out of our control – it’s the lads’ decision. We struggled to get one in so that didn’t help us.

“For 30 minutes, we nullified them – that was the plan – went 1-0 up, then we’ve conceded minutes on 43 and 45 which has ultimately killed the game and it’s damage limitation then. The key thing is there’s a lot of lads there who aren’t fit, that’s not a criticism, it’s just a fact.

“Lads have missed games, lads that have signed have come in from other teams who haven’t played, that’s going to take a bit of time. But the biggest thing is fitness, you expect a lack of confidence. Then yesterday, I can’t fault the lads application, they go away from home, first-half we were decent.

“I don’t think our ‘keepers had a save to make and we go 1-0 up, had one or two opportunities that we could’ve done better with. We come out second half and the sending off is an absolute joke to be honest with you, their bench have said it, we’ve said it, the referee’s absolutely killed us.

“Even with 10 men, we had opportunities to kill the game off, we haven’t done it and their goal our centre-half has slipped, we’ve cleared it, it’s hit the back of our keeper and gone in.

“When things like that happen you think ‘wow, your lucks against you’, I certainly can’t fault the lads for effort, work-rate, application. It was a tough night and I think we deserved something out of the game at least.”

As each day passes by, Widnes continue their efforts to improve in different areas of the pitch as they have announced the signings of Keyni Mills, Gabriel Breeze and Mark Bardsley Rowe so far.

“We’ve spoken to the lads, we’ve had to make changes, a couple of lads have left, we’ve brought one or two in already,” he added.

“A couple will be available for Saturday but we need to get them on the training pitch, we need to work, to get what we want from the group across and that’s going to take a bit of time.

“Things might get a little bit worse before they can get better, we want to pick points up along the way, there will be new faces coming in – which always happens with a new manager coming in.

“The lads understand that, I said that everybody will have a fair crack, I think the majority of the squad which was there have had an opportunity in the first two games and we’ve had a glimpse of what they can do, we’ve got to make decisions on that and those performances.”

It’s another away trip for Ellison’s side this week as they visit Mossley. The Lilywhites currently sit in the playoffs, after eight games, with 13 points.

Despite the odds stacked against them, the Widnes boss insists that his side must dust themselves down and look to right their wrongs.

He said: “They never do get any easier, we know what they’re about, the games come thick and fast, they’re tough.

“Another away game, the lads have got to take positives [rom Newcastle Town], for large parts of the game we were decent, we really really were.

“If we’d of got that second goal, I think we could’ve killed it and it’d be over but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, football gives you opportunity to put things right and on Saturday, we’ll be looking to do that.”

For enquiries: info@off-the-park.co.uk@OffThePark_