RADCLIFFE manager Jon Macken is calling for more intensity for his side after they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to South Shields on the opening day of the BetVictor Premier Division season.

Despite the scoreline Macken believes it could have been a very different afternoon if Boro had made more of their chances.

The former Manchester City striker said he had asked for a lot more from his players after they had gone toe-to-toe with a good side.

“We don’t like losing,” he said. “I think we had the best three chances of the game but we put them over the bar, their lad had the chance and he hit the target, it went in the top corner, so fair play. If you shoot you score.

“We always know that we have a good defence and we have good players that can play football. I’m disappointed because I suppose we gave them a bit too much respect in the first half. We weren’t on it, we weren’t trying to stick to the game-plan that we put out and how we wanted to play.

“At the end of the day I am disappointed because I thought the intensity could have been a lot higher from us. They are a good team and they played on the counter attack so fair play to them.”

The 41-year-old did not shy away from the fact his side must improve if they are to compete at this level. He believes the intensity levels need to be raised to see a change in results.

“There is no excuse from us,” he said. “We should have been a lot better and we have to improve. I told the lads that in there, we will improve but we have to have a lot more intensity to our game.

“That is the word because, unfortunately, in the second half we switched off and our intensity levels were not there for the first 10 minutes of the half and they caught us out with a great strike.”

After their Tuesday-night fixture at Bamber Bridge was postponed for a waterlogged pitch, Radcliffe start their FA Cup journey on Saturday against Runcorn Town and Macken vows his side will improve and get their campaign up and running.

“I am always looking to bounce back after an indifferent performance and a loss,” he added.

“It is pleasing we have a game on Saturday but we need to be a lot better, our intensity needs to be a lot better and we need to keep the ball a lot better and get shots away. We will improve.”