Frustrated Harrogate Town AFC manager Simon Weaver has urged fans to keep faith - insisting the club will climb the Vanarama North league table when his crocked stars return from injury.
Weaver has come under fire in recent weeks by fans unhappy that results have not matched pre-season expectations.
On Saturday, Town shipped three goals in 27 minutes, eventually losing 4-0 at Chorley FC.
And, after being held 0-0 at home by Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday night, Town slipped to 17th in the Vanarama North, ahead of a break this weekend. Town resume league duty at Worcester City on October 18.
Weaver told the ‘Advertiser: “We’ve had seven out at a time, including Dave McGurk, Peter Crook and Simon Lenighan. That’s a good part of the core of our squad.
“There is a different feel because of that. We have timed a bad run at the same time as having a lot of injuries which is frustrating.
“It is a bit unlucky having that many but the knives are out because people don’t want to hear that.
“We have taken stick but not until you are in the ring of football management and losing players to injury do you realise that you can’t get it going because you can’t name the same team.”
Weaver kept his troops in the dressing room for nearly an hour after full-time at Chorley. He explained: “We had a long discussion but it wasn’t a rollicking.
“I understand how they feel because I have been there as a player.
“We do prepare them well.
“We do encourage them to play well.
“I can see no reason why we cannot make this happen when the core of the squad is back.”
Former Hull City player Nicky Featherstone has signed for Town, while the club has taken Leeds United youngster Lewis Coyle on loan.
Weaver hailed their influence on Tuesday night: “Nicky played it better than anyone else on the pitch. He got on the ball and looked like Adam Bolder in his first season.
“Lewis fizzed and fizzed.
“I was so impressed by him. He is 18, but put in a man’s performance.”
Adam Nowakowski made his 150th appearance for Town on Tuesday. Weaver praised the playmaker: “Credit to Adam,” he said.
“He has been fantastic for me right from the start, and he has given the club 100 per cent.
“Nobody on the playing staff wants the club to do better than local lad Adam.”