Paul Phillips is looking for a response from his Buxton FC players when they take on Whitby Town on Saturday, following a midweek 2-1 defeat at home to Nantwich.
The Bucks boss was surprised by his side’s “poor performance” just days after they made an encouraging start to the 2019/20 BetVictor NPL season at Scarborough Athletic.
Buxton produced a dominant display on opening day, which yielded a point in front of a four-figure crowd in North Yorkshire, but it was a different story when Nantwich visited on Tuesday night.
“We were poor,” Phillips said after the defeat to Nantwich. “Too many people had off nights and it wasn’t until we were 2-0 down that we got into any shape or form in the game.
“We’ve got to put it down to early season and move on. We’ve got two games coming up over the weekend and we need to make sure we bounce back in them.”
Casper Hughes put Nantwich into a 23-minute lead before Sean Cooke doubled the visitors’ advantage seven minutes into the second half at the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium.
A Callum Chippendale header 10 minutes from time halved the deficit and gave the home side hope of staging a late fightback, but it wasn’t to be for the Bucks as it finished 2-1.
“I was very surprised after Saturday’s performance, where we battered them and could have beaten them 4-0,” said Phillips.
“They couldn’t have moaned if that was the result but that’s football and if you don’t take your chances then you get punished.
“We didn’t have many chances last night [Tuesday] and didn’t deserve to get anything out of the game.
“Nantwich were the far better team and we got exactly what we should have done out of it - nothing.”
Phillips made two changes to the starting line-up from Saturday with Martin Pilkington and Diego De Girolamo coming in for Liam Hardy and Brad Grayson.
And, with four games in the space of 10 days, Phillips was keen to keep the side fresh.
“Liam Hardy and Brad Grayson had put a lot of effort in on Saturday and we just needed to bring a freshness to our approach,” said Phillips. “They both worked okay but the service they got into them was poor.
And added: “There will be changes for Saturday.
“It is disappointing and the players will be told in no uncertain terms there will be changes.
“One, because of the result and, two, because we’ve got two games in 48 hours.”
Following Saturday’s home game against Whitby Town, who lost 2-0 at Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday night, Buxton visit Hyde United on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).