GRANTHAM Town suffered an inauspicious start to the season, garnering just one point from a possible six this week – but joint manager Wayne Hallcro says there is no need to panic.
The Gingerbreads’ Evo-Stik League Division One South opener saw them draw 1-1 at county rivals Lincoln United on Saturday. And Town’s first home game on Tuesday ended in a 1-0 defeat to Rainworth Miners Welfare, after Grantham had dominated proceedings at The Meres.
Hallcro said: “We can’t afford to panic, things will come right and we will persevere with things that we know, and that we know are successful. The expectation is so different this season. Everyone expected to have six points by now. That alone puts different pressures on everyone.”
Hallcro said that despite the addition of several new players to the squad, they were relying on the tried and tested side that took Town to the play-off final at the end of last season.
He said: “We need to remember that it was the personnel and formula that got us to where we did last season. We haven’t made great changes because we don’t think there is a need to; something the chairman, Board and fans were all in agreement with at the end of last season.
“As far as we are concerned, nothing has changed from then. We have made the few additions we felt were needed, so off we go again.”
Hallcro paid tribute to both Lincoln United and Rainworth who he said had played in a different style to last season, defending deep and in numbers. He said that his and co-boss Jimmy Albans’ side looked out of sorts at times, which they would be addressing in training.
Grantham had more than a handful of chances to swing Tuesday night’s game in their favour but luck did not go the Gingerbreads’ way. Hallcro in particular pointed out skipper Ben Saunders’ disappointment in not finishing off several more than promising moves.
Hallcro said: “I would be more concerned if we weren’t creating the chances that we have been. We had five really good chances against Rainworth.
“Some went just wide, three were cleared off the line with the keeper beaten, two really good saves, a questionable offside and a number of possible penalties. We must have been doing something right.
“Despite that, I still think we can play better. At times our play was disjointed and we were more like 11 individuals rather than a team. We are going to work on how we should be more joined up.
“We haven’t kicked into gear properly yet, but know we must as we can’t expect to turn up and win without preparing right.
“Ben Saunders is gutted at not taking at least one of the chances he had on Tuesday. But the type of player he is, he’ll get his head down and work harder and harder and it will start to happen. Although none of them went in, would anyone else in the team have been there for most of the chances?”
Hallcro said that confidence issues had to be addressed as well as a need to try and keep clean sheets, the backbone to last season’s success. But as far as wholesale changes went, Hallcro said it was too early after playing only two games.
He said: “It is always easy to remember what teams did last season, and not look at it as a new season with new players. It isn’t an excuse, but we struggled against sides lower down the league at times last season.
“We have got the ability to adapt where we need to at times; a bit more thought about how we pull a team about is all it takes. We need to work out how to draw teams out.”
The Gingerbreads take on Leek Town at The Meres tomorrow, kick-off 3pm.