WHITBY Town manager Tommy Cassidy admitted he got his tactics wrong at FC United last weekend as his side prepare to battle relegation rivals Mickleover Sports on Saturday (19 Feb).
Only one point and a single place separate the two teams on either side of the relegation line, with last season’s First Division South champions leading the way.
Dick Pratley’s men enjoyed a vital win at Ashton United last weekend, while Town delivered a poor performance at Bury’s Gigg Lane, to slump 4-0 against FC United of Manchester.
Cassidy said United looked very good but admitted he played it too defensively, telling his side to sit back and hit on the break after watching FC draw 0-0 at Frickley in midweek.
He told the Whitby Gazette: “I will take my big share of the blame as I set up a bit of a shape that didn’t work out.”
Cassidy confirmed winger Dave McTiernan was sacrificed just before half-time for striker Ash Davis in a purely tactical move and that, given a second chance, he would have begun the game with two strikers instead.
The former Workington manager has brought in Alex White on loan from his old club for a month, but there’ll be no return for another left-footed defender as Mark Robinson has joined Boston United, despite being close to a reunion at Town.
Cassidy said the Blues would miss previous loanee John McReady “desperately” - McReady, who this week went back to Blue Square Premier Darlington, made the bench for the Quakers’ evening trip to Cambridge United.
The Whitby boss was disappointed with all aspects of last Saturday’s defeat, adding: “I was wrong and some of the players didn’t play well and we paid the price.
“They were never under any pressure, especially in the first half.”
Third-bottom Frickley Athletic won at second-bottom neighbours Ossett Town on Tuesday to go level with the Seasiders on goal difference.
However, three points for Whitby on their first-ever visit to the Mickleover Sports Ground could move them four places higher, with Cassidy adding: “In this league, teams beat each other.
“We can’t afford to lose on Saturday.”
The Blues have won just once in their last seven outings, but defeated the Derbyshire outfit on the opening day of the season, 3-2.
Andy Campbell, Jimmy Beadle and Jamie Owens were on target for Town, back in August.
Club physiotherapist Kenny Bolton said skipper Tony Hackworth, who was stretchered off on Saturday, should be out for two weeks with ligament damage.
It was first feared the ankle was broken, which would have ended the midfielder’s season.
Town should otherwise be unchanged for the game which kicks off at the usual 3pm tomorrow, with a supporters’ coach leaving the Turnbull Ground at 9.30am.
Tickets are just £10 each.
The Blues travel to fifth-placed North Ferriby United this Tuesday (22 Feb).