Heanor Town will go into Saturday’s huge FA Cup first qualifying round tie at Matlock Town needing to vastly improve on recent displays, according to manager Glen Clarence.
The Lions won 2-1 against Sporting Khalsa last Wednesday but followed that up by being thumped 5-1 at Westfields on Saturday and then failing to break down Long Eaton United in a 0-0 draw on Bank Holiday Monday.
That left Clarence and his management team frustrated at too many players not performing to the required standard.
Clarence said: “Westfields have started well and will be up there all season as they’re very good going forward, but we knew that. We didn’t counteract them with what they can do or deal with what they’ve got.
“I feel let down. We haven’t got a big enough squad as it is and we were missing four out of what we do have.
“We brought a couple in on loan and still had enough quality but it wasn’t there against Westfields - certain people didn’t step up and weren’t up to standard against a very good side and when those factors get mixed together you can lose heavily, which is what happened.
“We haven’t got a very big squad but have given a few youngsters a chance during what has been a tough start in terms of the packed schedule against good opposition.
“The game against Long Eaton should have been over before half-time. We’re relying too much on one person to get the goals and it’s not good enough.
“We’re certainly looking to get more faces in to create competition for places. If players don’t take their chance then their place is under threat.
“The fact is that we’re disappointed with a 0-0 draw against a decent side like Long Eaton because we’re winners, and the same goes for three or four players who were disappointed too.”
Assistant manager Steve Huntington added: “We came in at half-time on Monday relatively pleased and having done well and I felt we were comfortable.
“We sent the lads out with the clear message to maintain the clean sheet and convert some chances. Their bench were constantly shouting about keeping a clean sheet which shows they’d probably come for a draw but we allowed them to get it.
“So it’s frustrating and again we weren’t good enough. It’s two points dropped and one or two players need to have a look at themselves.”
Matlock have had an inconsistent start to their Evo-Stik Premier Division season with only one win so far, but come into Saturday’s tie off the back of a 0-0 draw against another of Heanor’s local rivals, Ilkeston FC.
Clarence added: “There are no excuses. Everyone will want to play. It’s a one-off game and form goes out of the window and it’s about beating them and getting through.
“Hopefully we’ll have a good support behind us as it’s a massive game for the club.”
Should a replay be required from Saturday’s tie it will take place next midweek, otherwise the Lions will travel to Coleshill Town on Tuesday providing Coleshill also don’t need a replay from their FA Cup tie with Halesowen Town.