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Grantham Town boss Rawden wants to see more passion from his players

Grantham Town joint manager Paul Rawden said he was “more than disappointed” with the Gingerbreads’ 3-0 defeat to title-chasing Lancaster City at The Meres on Saturday.

Grantham went into the game in buoyant mood following the two previous weekends, having beaten Stafford Rangers and drawn with Basford United.

Regarding the Lancaster defeat, Rawden put the blame fairly and squarely on “individual errors”.

Grantham Town (26832433)
Grantham Town (26832433)

He said: “I felt we chucked a point away. We can work as much as we like on the training pitch, but we have to rely on the players to do it when they step out of the pitch.

“I’m more than disappointed. None of them come not wanting to win or try, but they need to be showing us their strength to win.”

Town were a good match for Lancaster’s Dolly Blues, particularly in the first half, but went into the half time break a goal down. The visitors then came out looking like a different side for the second half and Grantham paid the price.

Rawden said: “I don’t think Lancaster did much to open us up, but they got the win down to individual errors. That’s the really disappointing thing. At Basford and Stafford, we’ve been very dogged in the way we’ve defended. On Saturday, we’ve come away from that at the wrong occasions.

“We need the players to show a little bit more passion, desire and strength to keep the ball out the back of the net. The first goal we should have got it away, but we’ve given them chance to get a foot on it in the box and shoot. It’s not what anyone expects to happen.

“I’m realistic, mistakes happen, that’s football, and that’s how 90 per cent of goals are scored in the game.

“We need to be taking our chances though. We’ve had plenty in the first half, with the wind behind us, to get one or two to give us a cushion at half time. As we’ve gone in behind, we’ve had to chase the game and that’s stretched us and given them space to get into.

“Lancaster are second in the league for a reason, they’re efficient at what they do. They work hard from the front, they’re combative in midfield, and their defence stands firm.”

Rawden, co-manager Russ Cousins and the Gingerbreads now turn their attention to tomorrow’s game at Mickleover Sports. Town were back in training last night when Rawden promised he would be talking to his players about “the energy that we need out on the pitch and how we can make sure we’re back to that dogged defence we saw at Basford and against Stafford”.

Rawden concluded: “Mickleover isn’t an easy place to go to. They’ve got experienced players, but so have we. We’re hurting after the defeat and we want to push ourselves up the table, to do that we need everyone fighting for it.”

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