A RUN of five straight defeats – though the Emirates FA Cup loss to Tadcaster Albion followed s penalty shootout – has underlined deficiencies in the new-look Mossley team.
Manager David Fish believes there is not much wrong with his squad, though he admitted it was difficult to bring in so many new players at the same time.
“It has provided an idea what we need, a couple of additions to add more experience and balance, though we have the makings of a competitive squad,” he explained.
Fish added recent results influenced the decision to sign 27-year-old striker Antony Brown from Silsden – he had impressed against Mossley in a pre-season friendly – as they have not been working opposition goalkeepers enough.
He said: “That was the catalyst to bringing in Antony who is more aggressive than Danny McLaughlin and Harry Pratt.
“He works incredibly hard and is a good size and strong. He gives us a bit of nastiness, but in the right way.”
Fish suspects several of the fringe squad players will be moving on as Mossley has a large squad.
The downturn in fortunes is a marked contrast to the splendid start of four straight wins in league and FA Cup.
Fish added the players and management team are still on a steep learning curve.
Fish and No 2 Lee Ashworth previously managed at Rochdale St Clements in the Lancashire Amateur League and North West Counties League club Chadderton and many of the new players have never played at NPL level before.
He explained: “We are learning about different teams and styles of play.
“There is a lot we need to learn as a coaching staff and intervene more.
“The home defeat against Runcorn Linnets showed we need to do more from the sidelines.
“It was obvious during the game the players were not seeing problems and how to fix them. It is also a learning curve for them.”
Fish added what has been noticeable has been the quality of the players in the NPL.
“There is a lot more experience in the league and players have the ability to execute a game plan and, if you make a mistake, you are punished,” he explained.
“Teams have the ability to manage games well, something we need to develop quickly.”
Fish pointed out the losing run has coincided with Mossley playing many of the top teams and he was particularly impressed by Clitheroe who won 3-1 at Seel Park.
It remains a challenging period for Mossley with four of the next five games against Liverpool clubs.
They are against Widnes and Prescot Cables away and Marine and City of Liverpool away.
Mossley left-back Charley Leech has signed for Chadderton.
The 18-year-old joined Mossley in the summer following his release by Oldham Athletic, but was unable to hold down a regular place.
Central defender Paul Riley, who is on dual registration, is remaining at Wythenshawe Amateurs to keep match fit.