LIAM McDonald has backed his Solihull Moors side to bounce back from their slump in form – and says the club’s fans have a big part to play in ensuring that is the case.
McDonald was disappointed by his side’s display as they were beaten 2-1 by visitors Matlock Town in the FA Trophy first round on Saturday and knows a vast improvement is needed as the Christmas and New Year period approaches.
However, McDonald knows where those improvements are needed and is in no mood to panic.
“The Matlock game was disappointing as I thought we lacked tempo. To be honest we did not deserve to win.
“I cannot, however, criticise the players. We are all in a difficult place at the moment, what with the highs of the FA Cup when we led 2-0 at Luton and had a great chance of reaching the third round, to the lows of Torquay and now Matlock.
“We are fragile, which is why we conceded the goals we did on Saturday, but we need to build up our confidence and get our mentality right. This is a good team and together we will get better.”
On the subject of confidence, McDonald has urged Moors’ supporters to help rally the players in Saturday’s visit to Dagenham & Redbridge and in Tuesday’s home game against Lincoln City.
McDonald added: “We rely on the supporters and they have a tremendous effect when the players know they are 100 per cent behind them.
“It does not matter if the numbers away are obviously down on home games, it is the noise they make that does it for us. Just look at the supporters’ performances at Barrow and Southport where I guess there were less than 50 on the terraces.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s encounter, McDonald said: “It will be a tough game and, having watched the video of their 5-2 win at our place in September, we will be concentrating on a number areas where we were exploited.
“They put us to the sword in the first meeting of the two clubs but we know their strengths and go there with every expectation of doing ourselves justice.”
New signing Joel Kettle – a central defender recruited from Rushall Olympic for whom he was captain – is available to make his debut, while Omari Sterling-James is fit but Andy Brown is still some time away from a return.
Meanwhile, defender Jean-Yves Koue Niate and midfielder Donnell Benjamin have departed.