JON Macken has challenged his Radcliffe side to “get a grip” and re-establish themselves as genuine promotion contenders.

Three defeats in four, the latest at Market Drayton on Saturday, has caused Boro to drop off the pace at the top of Evo-Stik West.

Another road trip beckons this weekend, with Macken taking his side to struggling Glossop North End looking to rein in a five-point gap between themselves and second-placed Runcorn Linnets.

Macken says he has given his players all the preparation necessary to remedy their ailing form and has put the ball firmly in their court to get back to winning ways.

“We can only keep working on defending in training, crossing and finishing in training, but sometimes if the lads don’t take it upon themselves to get a grip on the game, push themselves and go and win it, like we did early on, we just keep going round and round in circles,” he said. “We’ll keep driving the message home, how we want to play, and hopefully get a reaction.”

Macken switched to a 3-5-2 formation at Market Drayton but felt missed opportunities meant his team failed to get a foothold early in the game.

“It was something I was thinking about and you work through the week to show the team pattern of play but if they don’t want to listen to you, and they don’t want to execute it, you’re struggling,” he said. “You are trying to get your information over to them and whether they are dismissing it at the moment, I don’t know. There was a lot of creating half-chances but no desire to go on and win the game.

“Now it’s up to them to strive to see what they are made of.

“We can give them all the advice and planning we put into place to try and beat them but if they don’t want to do it, don’t want to run in behind, don’t want to commit 100 per cent, then you are struggling.

“It’s my job to find the players who can do that. They were tremendous up until Christmas time and now they have dropped off massively.

“It’s up to me now to try and find that winning formula again.”