CAPTAIN Mikey Watt has blamed his Walshaw players’ under-achievement this season on complacency.
The Sycamore Road men were intending on mounting a serious title challenge this season but go into this weekend’s double header in eighth place.
So tight is the league table this season that they would have climbed to third, just two points behind second, had they won their derby against Bury last weekend instead of it being abandoned.
But Watt believes his team has more than enough quality not to be talking about what might have been.
“We’ve got the team we’ve wanted to have for the last few years this season and we should be doing better,” he said.
“We’re not overly happy with where we are in the league, but having said that we’re not far behind second either.
“If we start performing we can get in that top six and then the top four.
“The problem has been complacency. A lot of players have been thinking ‘if I don’t do it someone else will do it’ and they are not taking responsibility.
“We have a strong team on paper, but that can be a problem if you think you’re a strong team and you end up not doing it on the pitch because of complacency.
“We’ve spoken about it and hopefully the message has got across now.”
But Watt, whose side are at home to mid-table Swinton Moorside on Saturday and third-bottom Standish on Sunday, knows there have been fine margins between success and failure for his side this season.
“We have lost not so much in the last over but on the last ball,” he said.
“Our luck turned a bit against Winton in our last game when we won and hopefully that can be the turning point and we can go on and play to our potential.”
Watt says with the league splitting into two divisions next season, and everyone wanting to be in the top tier, there are no easy games.
“I’ve never known it as tight as this,” he said.
“Everyone is so close together in the league, one win can move you right up there. But you can also lost to teams you thought you would cruise against.
“All the teams have strengthened, there are not many weak teams at all this year.
“Darcy Lever and Golborne beat us, teams who at the start of the season you didn’t think would be as strong are playing well and beating you.
“With the structure of the league meaning you only play everyone once, you’re playing teams who you might not play again because you’ll be in a different division.
“So every week you’re coming up against teams who are stronger than they were and are playing at the top of their game.
“It’s meant some unusual results and it’s shown that anyone can beat anyone.”