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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Bayliss: Barrow AFC players need to toughen up

DAVE Bayliss has told his nicey-nicey players to start getting nasty when their road to redemption takes them to Southport tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).


Pride, as well as three valuable league points, will be on the line for the beleaguered Bluebirds at Haig Avenue following Saturday’s humiliating 8-1 hammering at Mansfield Town.

As such, the Barrow AFC boss has demanded a strong response tonight by highlighting his team’s soft centre as a cause for concern – pinpointing the occasionally weak glove work of 22-year-old deputy goalkeeper Shaun Pearson as a notable example.

“The players didn’t defend and they were bullied in every position on Saturday,” said Bayliss. “The goalkeeper has taken smacks off their centre-halves whereas keepers I’ve played with would do the opposite – they would leave the centre-half stone cold on the floor.

“That’s what Shaun’s got to learn. He’s a goalkeeper and he’s got flattened by their centre-back, I’ve never seen that in my life. Any centre-backs who ran into the goalkeepers I played with – there was only going to be one winner.

“Shaun is young and he hasn’t got that nasty streak in him yet as a lot of them didn’t on Saturday – they have got to get that.

“We’re too nice and a nice bunch of players which is disappointing – but we’ve got what we’ve got.”

Bayliss’s depleted squad meant he was only able to select four out of the maximum five substitutes permitted at Mansfield, where the wheels temporarily fell off Barrow’s survival bandwagon.

But Bayliss insists there is still juice left in their cracked tank as third-from-bottom Barrow prepare to resume their punishing league campaign at mid-table Southport.

“We were just beaten by a better side at Mansfield –we can play tonight and be a completely different side,” added Bayliss.

“That’s what you get with Barrow players and players from the lesser sides – if they were that good they wouldn’t play for Barrow and that’s no disrespect to them. The players have come here, we’ve given them a chance at Barrow and the aim for them is to move on to bigger clubs like the Mansfields and the promoted sides like the Fleetwoods and the Oxfords.

“Based on Saturday’s performance, maybe they won’t – but they’ve got to man-up.”

Barrow boosted their survival chances by securing wins over promotion hopefuls Newport County and Luton Town before their drubbing at Field Mill.

Now they face a genuine opportunity to jump out of the Conference drop zone during their upcoming four-match sequence which will see them lock horns with Southport, relegation rivals Nuneaton Town, plus mid-table outfits Woking and Lincoln City.

And Bayliss insists Saturday’s hammering will have no bearing on Barrow’s long-term prospects.

“We told the players in the dressing room after Saturday’s game that this game at Mansfield won’t define our season because we have to take points off the teams around us,” said Bayliss. “They’re the bigger games for us – the littler games are the bigger ones if you like. So we have to come in, train properly and go again tonight.”

Number one stopper Danny Hurst is ‘touch and go’ to be fit as he closes in on a return from a shoulder complaint. Hurst received extensive treatment yesterday and will be given every chance to play a part. Centre-back Danny O’Donnell is still a few weeks away from making a comeback from his own shoulder injury, while midfielder Richie Baker is suspended.

Striker Lee McEvilly missed training yesterday after suffering chest pains following the Mansfield defeat and will be assessed today as will ill centre-back Sean Hessey (flu), plus injury doubts winger Danny Rowe (dead leg) and full-back Matt Flynn (calf).

Have your say

DB MATE is there any chance of letting kids in free if accompanied by an adult,for the rest of the season?I'm sure there will be more paying adults this way.DB AFC,DB AFC. YES LET THE KIDS IN FREE.YOU WON'T LOSE BY IT

Posted by captain bluebirdseye on 15 February 2013 at 14:52

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