Brackley Town manager Jon Brady was left hugely frustrated and disappointed as he slammed his side’s performance after their dismal 3-1 home defeat to Gloucester City on Tuesday.
Former Saints man Charlie Griffin created one and scored another to help the visitors earn a deserved victory against a Brackley side sorely lacking any fluency or creativity, with Izak Reid’s goal the only bright moment.
Brady said: “I think the hardest thing for me to take is that Gloucester looked like they wanted it more than us tonight, and because they wanted to more and because they were first to most things and wanted to get on the ball, they won. It’s pretty disappointing to see that.
“It came down to the will to be better than your opponents. You need to be brave to get on the ball and play, we played too many long balls tonight and we never try to play long balls.
“The attitude to be brave, get on the ball, pass it, to have people showing for the ball, wanting to be first to the ball, I felt we were second best all over and I hate to say that about my Brackley team because that’s what we’ve built our reputation on. Fair credit to Gloucester though, they were excellent in all departments and worked well as a team.”
Brady also rued his team’s naivety after pulling level at 1-1, adding: “We get back into the game at 1-1 and we absolutely go gung-ho straight from the off, thinking we’re going to score within 30 seconds. I expect with the experience we’ve got out there that we played it sensibly and win the game 2-1 and see it out, but I couldn’t believe what I saw.
“Straight from kick-off we literally committed nearly every man forward bar three at the back and it’s just not us. It wasn’t good enough tonight.”
Brackley’s inability to find any consistency since the turn of the year has been their undoing in recent weeks, with Saints picking up just six wins in their previous 21 league matches, much to the frustration of Brady: “Up until the Hednesford game when we went top, we were the best team in the league, but the latter part of the season has been highly frustrating because I feel at the moment that our performances are so indifferent from week-to-week, game-to-game.
“One thing I would say is that on the whole we have been playing well, but we’ve lost that ruthless edge that we’ve always had where we saw games out and at least drew or won.
“But tonight was, from a few, just unacceptable.”
Despite their recent troubles, however, Brady still believes his side can make a push for the play-offs. Saints currently lie seventh in the Conference North with eight games remaining.
He added: “Always believe. We’re one point off the top five, but with every game that passes by that we’re unsuccessful in, our chances start to fall by the wayside, but there’s still eight games and 24 points to play for, we have to find our consistency as quickly as possible.”
On signing 25-year-old striker Ryan Rowe on loan from Kidderminster Harries, Brady said: “Gary (Mulligan) is playing half fit at the moment, he has tendonitis on his knee and Ben MIlls has been released because his work commitments were too much, so we’ve just switched it around a bit.”