Sol Campbell was once again left frustrated on the touchline as Macclesfield suffered defeat in the final pre-season fixture, despite creating a host of chances.
With little under a week remaining until the beginning of the new campaign, Campbell is adamant that this defeat will act as a reality check for his players.
“I think it’s very frustrating for us because it’s our last game before the season starts” stated Sol.
“I think for me the lads weren’t at the races; they weren’t popping it around, they weren’t making runs, they weren’t linking up. That definitely needs to be looked at and needs to be improved.
"They’ve got to be nice and fresh for next week because we can’t be going away from home again with that type of performance, we’ve got to be at it and ready to go.”
Macclesfield had no trouble creating chances on Saturday afternoon, yet it was the finishing that seemed to evade the players once again.
“We got into the positions and we just don’t deliver” admitted the boss.
“Then sometimes we choose the wrong delivery with an indirect free-kick as well, that wasn’t the only thing, I think there was times when we just had to look up and pass an easy pass and we just can’t see it at the moment. We just can’t see the easy pass, the simple pass to make a goal situation.
"It’s a bit bizarre really, we created, we’re in the box but we just need to choose the right scenario. Like last season, we created the chances, but we just weren’t converting, and I want that kind of problem to be erased really because we’re getting the chances, but we just need to finish them.
“We had that last year, and we’ve just got to keep on working on it, I think we’ve just got to make sure players are more aware in the box and lively in the box, and we just need to stick them away. We’re creating the chances but it’s just the last ten percent, we’re just not finishing them. As I said, we had that last season, we had counters and chances but we just need to pick the right pass and we’re just not seeing it."
“For us I think we’ve got to look at the videos and it’s one of those days, I would rather have that type of performance today than next week. I think it gives a reality check to a lot of players, and that’s key, to look at their game and we will analyse, but I think sometimes you need to get that type of game out of your system quickly. We will do that and we will learn and go again.”
Despite it only being a pre-season fixture, the manager admits that winning mentality is vital, no matter what the circumstance.
“We can play better than that” said the boss.
“I see them train day in day out and you’ve got to always bring that intensity and that tempo to the game, you can’t be lethargic. You’ve got to bring all your abilities to the pitch and leave nothing. Whether it’s a pre-season game or playing for points or cup games, we’ve got to get that type of mentality there, we want to get a winning mentality and make sure we keep that because it’s so hard to get a winning mentality - once we get it we don’t want to let it go. But today with that type of performance we really need to chalk that one off and make sure that type of performance doesn’t come back again.”
The boss states that there is still work to do before they kick off their campaign away to Exeter on Saturday.
“I think for us it’s a reality check, it’s putting everything into perspective and realising that we’ve got work to do as a team and we’re going to work really hard.
"We have been working hard in training, but we’ve got to keep the levels up, keep on fighting, keep on pushing every day and don’t drop off because this is what happens.
"When you drop off this happens, so hopefully this hurts the guys in a sense that yes it’s a friendly but we don’t want those types of performances coming back. We don’t mind losing but not in that way, we’ve got to make sure we fight for every ball, fight for every second ball and when we create chances, have calm heads in the box and stick them away."
By Conor O'Hara