RICHIE McLoughlin has urged his Jarrow Roofing side to get back to basics ahead of tomorrow’s Northern League Division One clash against Ashington.
The manager has watched on in frustration as his high-flying Roofers have conceded 13 goals in their last five games, with five conceded against Norton and Stockton Ancients in the Durham Challenge Cup on Wednesday.
And McLoughlin is demanding a huge improvement ahead of the weekend’s round of fixtures.
He said: “I don’t know what’s happened recently, but ever since the Christmas period we’ve just started to concede too many sloppy goals, and it has cost us points.
“We are making mistakes that we wouldn’t have made earlier on in the season.
“We need to sort this before it ruins all the good work we’ve done in the league up until now, so keeping it simple and keeping it tight at the back is what I’m looking for most tomorrow – we need to become hard to beat again.”
Ashington have suffered a mixed run of results, and their lack of consistency leaves the Colliers 14th in the standings, while Roofing could jump to third with a win.
Ashington’s last result was a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle Benfield, but McLoughlin insists his side are in for a tough time at the weekend.
He added: “They are a side that can cause problems for the best in the division on their day. They are very strong and physical, so that’s why it’s so important we shore up our defence, because we will get punished if we don’t.
“We were unlucky at their place at the start of the season. We did well to come back from 2-0 down to salvage a draw – and we were unfortunate not to win in the end, so here’s hoping for another excellent match.”
The Roofers’ defensive options will be bolstered, with Corey Barnes, Dan Kirkup and Anth Myers all expected to return.
Kick-off at the Boldon CA Sports Ground is at 3pm.