Trapdoor is open at Bucks after heavy defeat

Buxton FC joint manager Paul Phillips
Buxton FC joint manager Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips says changes will be made to the Buxton squad after Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at home to struggling Witton Albion.

The Bucks’ joint-boss described the loss as the worst display he’s seen since he and Steve Halford took over, the result meaning it’s now six games without a win in the league in a run stretching back to October 9.

And despite a 3-0 win at Mickleover Sports in the Integro League Cup on Tuesday night, Phillips says it’s time up for some members of the squad.

He said: “We’ve been loyal to two or three players during the tough times but Saturday showed us that some just aren’t capable of doing what we require of them.

“We have some who might be good on the ball but it’s when they don’t have it that they’re not working hard for the team and that’s costing us.

“Saturday was embarrasing and we rightly got plenty of stick for it from the fans - if we could have reimbursed them their entrance fee then we would have done and I apologise to them for the performance.

“The best results we’ve had at home this season have been against the top sides, whereas all three defeats have been against teams in the bottom six, which shows it’s a mentality thing as much as anything else.”

Experienced striker James Dean, 33, joined from Padiham and made his debut on Saturday having been a regular scorer for the likes of Chorley, Halifax, AFC Fylde and Warrington Town in recent seasons, with Phillips saying only he and goalkeeper Theo Roberts could come out of the game exempt from criticism.

He said: “James hadn’t played for six weeks so was inevitably going to be a bit rusty, but he’ll give us a great option up front in the coming weeks.Theo couldn’t really do a lot about any of the goals.

“Other than that, the rest were embarrassing and were told as much in no uncertain terms after the game.

“The manner with which we lost the game was appalling - I can’t take anything away from Witton who played some good football but we were so poor and did ourselves no favours.”

With Saturday’s defeat still raw, the Bucks then went to Mickleover in the League Cup and ran out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Liam Hardy, Jude Oyibo and Scott Sephton, and Phillips believes it was important to get a postiive result.

He said: “You can look at our overall form with a negative slant in that we haven’t won in the league for six games, but before Saturday we’d drawn four in a row so hadn’t been playing poorly.

“Nevertheless, it was important to win on Tuesday and with a few lads being brought into the team to stake a claim they did really well.

“Mickleover have a strong and experienced side so it was a tough test but we came through it and to be honest it was a massive result in context.”

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Buxton now prepare to face Bamber Bridge at the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium on Saturday before travelling to Alfreton Town in the quarter-finals of the Derbyshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

And Phillips expects there to be more new faces arriving in the coming days.

He said: “We have to balance things, so as well as new arrivals there will also be departures.

“With squads having settled down now and some players not getting as many games as they might like, a few more become available at this time and as always we are keen to recruit from as high a level as possible.

“The Witton game showed us where the real problems lie and it’s our job now to rectify that.

“We are behind where we want to be but a couple of wins could have us right back in the play-off mix so with lots of games still to play, it’s important we return to form as soon as we can.”