Belief strong as Buxton FC look to kick-start season after Bank Holiday blues

Buxton manager Paul Phillips.
Buxton manager Paul Phillips.

Buxton FC will look to put a disappointing Bank Holiday behind them when they take on Stalybridge Celtic at the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium on Saturday.

The Bucks suffered two defeats in the space of three days in the BetVictor NPL Division, at home to Whitby Town and then away at Hyde United.

It means Buxton go in search of a first win of the season when Stalybridge visit - and boss Paul Phillips remains confident his side can kick-start their campaign.

“We can’t do anything about what’s been, it’s gone,” said Phillips. “We’ve got to pick ourselves back up and show a will and a fight.

“I’ve never been one not to believe in my own ability. I’ve never been one not to believe in the lads’ abilities.

“We’ve got to have a right go when we come up against Stalybridge Celtic, in what will be a hard game.

“We’ll prepare on Thursday. That means we’ll have had five or six days since the Monday to prepare for Stalybridge.”

A late goal swung a seven-goal thriller in Whitby’s favour on Saturday while two penalty decisions went against Buxton in the 3-1 defeat at Hyde on Monday.

“I thought we were unlucky,” he said. “Without sounding like sour grapes - we’ve started well, they’ve gone in front through stupidity - then we should have had a penalty.

“But I’m not making excuses, we’re not playing well and not defending well enough as a team. Certain players haven’t lived up to the expectations and when that happens then you’ve got to change things.

“There will be changes in the coming days with the spine of the team and in other ways.

“We’ve got to suck it up and take the criticism for now. When things are going well it’s easy, when things are going bad you find out who is on your side.”

And added: “We’ve camped in Hyde’s half for the second half but we’ve not tested the goalkeeper enough.

“When you do that, you’ve got to test the ‘keeper, and we’ve not done it enough - that’s what we’ve said after the game.

“We can dress it up as best as we want but they’ve taken their chances.

“We probably had the better of the chances but we’ve not taken them, again.”

Phillips hinted at further changes to the Bucks’ squad over the coming days as he looks to strike the right balance, after play-off heartbreak last season.

“We’ve got enough experience in there and we’ll have various other people coming into the fold,” he said.

“We’ve brought, in some ways, better players in and we’ve not hit the ground running.

“We’ve just not got off to a good start but we’ve got a lot of games left.

“I don’t know if there’s a hangover from the play-off disappointment last season playing a part - but we can’t blame that for too long.

“We’ve got to kick on now, start picking up points and put some on the board because we’ve got a big week with the FA Cup the week after.

“It’s a big few weeks for us.”

Buxton travel to Mickleover Sports on Tuesday 3rd September in the league before an FA Cup first qualifying round tie away to Romulus on Saturday 7th September.