MARK Collier is adamant that his Chippenham Town players should shoulder the responsibility for their frustrating defeat at the hands of Arlesey Town on Tuesday night.
The Bluebirds slipped to a seventh home loss of the season as they failed to find a response to Luis Medina’s sixth-minute goal for the visiting Blues at Hardenhuish Park.
Collier’s men have now gone eight games without a win and the Chippenham chief, who finds his side eight points ahead of the bottom three, doesn’t want to see his team get dragged into a relegation battle.
“We’ll ask ourselves if we selected the right team, and we looked a strong team on paper, but we haven’t performed on grass – there were too many poor performances on Tuesday,” said Collier.
“We have a little saying in (the changing room) that we want to have seven and eight out of ten performances every week.
“We produced that all around the side on Saturday (against St Albans City) but against Arlesey, there were some three or four performances.
“That’s not acceptable to myself and Tom (Jones, assistant) and we need to address that.
“As I’ve said before I’m responsible for results and the players are responsible for performances.
“Our role is to keep this club in this division, before we find ourselves in a dogfight, and we’ve got some work to do.
“If we have to bring in other players to do that, then we will do.
“We’ve asked the players, in a calm way, what can they do to be better?
“There are teams below us that we hope to get enough points from and I’m quite comfortable with that situation but we don’t want to get ourselves into a position where we cause our own problems. We want to make sure that we’re pushing up the table and not looking over our shoulder.”
The Bluebirds found themselves behind with just six minutes on the clock as Arlesey’s Liam McGovern played the ball out to winger Medina, who cut inside from the left flank before side-footing a low, curling shot into the net from just outside the area.
Chippenham toiled as they looked to battle their way back into the game, with Pete Monks not far off-target with a powerful effort in the first half and James Guthrie heading over the bar as he got on the end of Lee Phillips’ flick-on.
With just under 15 minutes remaining, Arlesey keeper Jack Bonham almost gifted the hosts an equaliser as he spilled a high ball from team-mate Andre Maltay, allowing Griffin a snapshot on goal but his instinctive flick rolled agonisingly wide of the unguarded goal.
Substitute Corey King provided two dangerous crosses in the closing stages but the visitors held firm to frustrate Collier’s men.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Ben John, Harley Purnell (Corey King 67), Pete Monks, Bryan Smith, Aaron Oakley, Greg Tindle, Joe McClennan, Rob Dean, Alan Griffin (c), Lee Phillips, James Guthrie (Lloyd Macklin 75).
Subs not used: Tyron Leigh, Callum Wright, Jon Beeden.
Referee: Robin Cox.
THE Bluebirds have been left kicking their heels after their next scheduled game, a rearranged trip to Hungerford Town next Tuesday night, was postponed due to the Berkshire outfit being in Red Insure Cup action.
Chippenham’s next outing is now due to be at home to Weymouth on Saturday, January 25.
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