BOSS Tommy Wright has warned Stratford Town they must start getting the defensive basics correct otherwise they face being carved open at will.
The call for improvements followed Town’s 3-3 draw at home to Kings Langley on Saturday where the Blues defence was at sixes and sevens throughout the entertaining stalemate at the Arden Garages Stadium.
And with a home game against early BetVictor Southern Premier Central pacesetters AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday (3pm kick-off) followed by a trip to free-scoring Rushall Olympic on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm), Wright told the Herald that Town must start defending better.
However, he stressed part of the reason behind Town looking so open last weekend was the fact they had switched from a 3-5-2 formation, which they used in the 3-1 defeat to Stourbridge, to a 4-2-3-1.
“I did say I wanted to see a reaction from the lads after the disappointing defeat to Stourbridge, but I must point out I changed the shape for the Kings Langley game,” said Wright.
“We only had one training session on working on a system that we did not even use in pre-season so I have to give the lads some leeway with that and I’d like to think the supporters would too.
“Having said that, we did not do the basics of defending and those are the kind of things I was taught as a ten-year-old.
“I thought we were too wide open in midfield, especially as Kings Langley’s forwards were very lively.
“They constantly interchanged, they constantly ran off our back four and got in behind too easily.
“At Stourbridge we were defensively awful and even though we were better on Saturday, we were too open to the obvious errors and they’re the basics I think we can correct quickly.
“You cannot afford to be too open and make basic mistakes against teams like Rushden and Rushall as you’ll get carved open.”
With two tough games over the Bank Holiday weekend, Wright believes the games offer a chance to see where the Town squad is and what is capable of being achieved this season.
“We face two in-form teams so it’s going to be tough, but we faced an in-form team in Kings Langley on Saturday and we got a point so I expect us to compete and go toe-to-toe with Rushden and Rushall,” he said.
“Both teams will have aspirations of the play-offs and they will be looking at us in the same light.
“They’re flying in confidence and scoring goals, but so are we, however, we have to start keeping them out of our own net.”
Wright is hopeful of having Liam Hughes back among the squad over the Bank Holiday weekend as well as Ross Oulton.
There are doubts, though, over the fitness of Kynan Isaac and Cody Fisher who both picked up knocks on Saturday.