Assistant manager Liam McIvor could not hide his disappointment at Whitley’s performance after they went down 3-1 to Guisborough Town at Hillheads. “It was a terrible result against good opposition. As a team we need to be doing better, and we expect to do better. Our standards should be kept higher. We never got going until they had a man sent off unfortunately, and then we created some chances in those last few minutes.
“In the first half we created two chances, great chances and the first one was a bit of a game changer. If that goes in we’re 1-0 up and you’d think we were going to get better.”
Whitley were missing three key players through injury and illness. Captain Michael Hall, along with Elliott Day and Cameron Brewis were all unavailable and Liam felt their absence was a factor in the defeat. “They are huge players. We’ve got down to the bare bones as a squad. We only carry 18, 19 players and when we’ve got players who are out injured they’re really missed. Michael, he’s your captain, he’s your leader, in the changing rooms he’s fantastic. And Elliott, we know what he gives going forward and we’ve missed that. I thought we missed it on Tuesday and we’ve missed it again today. Cam Brewis’s injury is a huge blow at the minute because he gives you everything when he plays. His energy in the middle is what we’re probably lacking a bit at the moment.”
Countering those absences, two players signed this week were making their first appearances on home turf. Mark Davison signed from Sunderland RCA made his first start after coming off the bench in midweek and impressed the assistant manager. “Sparky (Mark) started to day and I thought he was good. He’s a handful for defenders, a good old fashioned centre forward. I think we just need to get players round him because he holds the ball very well. Scott (Young) has done well when he came off the bench. He’s never played at all for a couple of seasons because of a cruciate injury. It’s his first game back but he’ll get stronger and better all the time he plays. We’ve had the same squad, same set of lads since pre-season and it’s hard for new players to come in and figure what’s going on. It’ll take them time.”
He continued “We need to regroup, start again. We win one; we lose one at the minute. We just need to get that consistency back and try and get the standards back higher, the press, the intensity and everything like that.”