GRESLEY boss Gary Norton is demanding a big improvement from his players after they slipped to ninth in Evo-Stik NPL First Division South.
The Moatmen lost 4-2 at Halesowen Town on Saturday and tomorrow have a daunting home game against King’s Lynn Town, kick-off 3pm.
“We’ve not won since Boxing Day,” Norton said. “We’ve had some difficult games, but equally some poor performances.
“The frustration has been around some players’ work rates.
“It’s a given when you pull on a Gresley shirt that you give 100 per cent, regardless of quality or ability.
“Some people in recent games, I’ve been questioning whether they’ve done that.”
King’s Lynn pose a major threat to any recovery from the Moatmen, but Norton’s side enjoyed one of their best results since returning to the NPL when they visited Norfolk in October.
They drew 2-2 thanks to a Rob Spencer brace and a determined performance against one of the title favourites.
“We went there a little bit low on confidence,” said Norton. “We had a bit of a scratch side but got 2-0 up before they got it back to 2-2.
“They were left wondering how they got anything. We need a similar performance again tomorrow to get anything out of the game.”
Norton has also missed Spencer’s presence in recent weeks after his hard-working winger suffered a broken jaw.
“Rob has that work ethic in his DNA,” said the Gresley boss. “We’ve really missed him, which isn’t to belittle the lads who’ve played in his position.”
Now, Norton is looking for his squad to work hard together to help Gresley climb the table.
“All managers will say that at times without a win you need to pull in the same direction,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that you get your just rewards for what you put in.
“Earlier in the season, when we won at Carlton and Leek, we got a bit of forunte and that seems to have deserted us recently.
“It seems at times that the harder we’ve tried, the more we’ve been punished.”
Norton has recently been forced to undertake a working week topping 70 hours, but has now managed to reduce his hours at Rolls-Royce and commit more time to Gresley.
“I managed to get to a training session for the first time in several weeks,” he said. “I’ve been doing a 70 or 80 hour week for the last few months and I’ve made a conscious decision to back off that.
“I’ve still got my commitments, but it wasn’t sustainable for my health, personal or family life.
“It also hasn’t been good for Gresley.”
Striker Jordan Nadat returns from suspension today, but Phil Massingham begins a three-match ban.
GRESLEY FROM: Hateley, Barrett, Nottingham, Strzyzewski, Gough, Rathbone, Holmes, Jepson, Goodfellow, Turville, Hanslow, Woods, Roome, Walker, Lyons, Nadat, Hamilton.