Paul Phillips says certain members of Buxton’s squad are playing for their futures at the club as they prepare for a trip to fellow strugglers Atherton Collieries on Saturday.
The Bucks were beaten 3-1 at Colne in the FA Trophy last weekend after a display that Phillips labelled a ‘disgrace’, before a 3-0 League Cup win at home to Ilkeston Town on Tuesday night gave a much-needed morale boost.
But manager Phillips is now keen to see more consistent performances from his players as they seek valuable points.
“We’ve got to start winning football matches, it’s plain and simple,” he said.
“There’s no denying we’ve got a squad with great ability, but getting out of a rut where you’re losing games is very difficult.
“Fans are getting despondent, as I would be if was a supporter, but I can assure them that everyone at the club is working very hard to put things right.
“Every club has bad periods but you can’t just rely on ability to get out of it, you need effort and a desire to win and that’s been missing at times.”
Phillips felt that was particularly the case at Colne, who scored twice in the last ten minutes to earn a third round tie at home to Southport.
He said: “It was a disgrace. We were very poor, despite sticking to the game plan which catered for playing up and down the hill they have there.
“We got exactly what we deserved in the second-half, which was nothing. To go out with a whimper is disappointing; you’ll always lose games but to lose in that manner was very poor.”
Tuesday’s win over Ilkeston saw goals from Aaron Chalmers, Liam Hardy and Diego de Girolamo seal a passage through.
Phillips added: “We played some good stuff against a side doing well in their league and scoring lots of goals.
“But I’ve said to the players that it’s no good turning it on every now and then. Successful teams have to be performing well all the time and not turn it on and off like a tap.
“It’s that lack of consistency which is a problem.”
Phillips says he won’t hesitate to make more changes to his squad if necessary.
“We’ve been a bit thin on the ground at times, particularly in terms of scoring goals as there’s been a lot of reliance on Liam Hardy and Diego de Girolamo.
“But goalscoring players are a rare and valuable commodity so finding solutions isn’t that simple.
“I’ve made mistakes in taking punts on some players that haven’t worked out, whereas sometimes those punts have.
“We’ve had the two lads come in from Salford and dow well, while Alex Brown has been out in the cold a bit but played well against Ilkeston on Tuesday and it’s important his displays are more consistent than sporadic.
“I’m not one for throwing players on the bus but one or two have been told that if they don’t want to be here or aren’t prepared to put up a fight, then they won’t have a place at the club.
“Players not being happy is part and parcel of the game but we have to stick together and win and lose as a team.
“We can’t bring players in willy nilly but the balance of the team is lacking at the moment in terms of those we can bring in from the bench, so we’re keen to address it.”