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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Skelton: No excuses for poor form

BARROW AFC defender Gavin Skelton says there are “no excuses” from him or his team-mates for their last two performances.

The Bluebirds were humiliated 7-0 by Mansfield before going down 4-0 at home to Braintree on Saturday as their miserable losing run stretched to five games.

Next, mid-table Barrow – who just three weeks ago were dreaming of a Blue Square Bet Premier play-off place push – go to Forest Green Rovers, with experienced left-back Skelton, who turned 31 yesterday, saying: “All the lads are gutted, the same as the supporters. The players feel it as much, if not more.

“The criticism that’s come our way from the last two games is fair – we have absolutely no comeback to it.

“Sometimes performances are not as bad as results, but for the last two games you can’t try and put any half-positive spin on it.

“It’s hard to say what has gone wrong. Whatever you say it sounds like an excuse and, in truth, there are no excuses.

“You should want to win every game, even in training.

“It probably hasn’t looked like we have in the past couple of games, but I can assure you we have.

“For whatever reason, though, and as I say there are no excuses, it has not been good enough.”

Barrow have just six games left to play this season, with the team needing 11 more points to break a 30-year-old club record Conference Premier points tally of 65, achieved in the 1981/82 season.

Of more immediate concern, however, is getting a much-needed win and scoring a goal – neither of which they have done in the last five matches.

Skelton said: “This poor run should make us even more determined.

“We have had two hidings, two poor performances, and everyone wants to knock us.

“Now we must do all we can to prove people wrong.

“It does hurt when you are criticised, because people always want to be patted on the back and told how great they are. But anything that has been said this last week or so, we have no comeback to.

“We just have to use that criticism to draw us together and try and prove people wrong.

“All we want to do is put it right, but as much as you can talk about doing so, what matters is doing it out on the pitch.”

The former Scottish Premier League ace, who joined Barrow last summer on a one-year deal and has made more starts – 42 in total – than any other AFC player this season, added: “We are working hard in training and are not off as we usually are on Wednesday.

“The manager (Dave Bayliss) is totally preparing towards Saturday, explaining what he wants us to do and what he expects from us. And the harder you work, the more you earn a bit of luck.

“While we have deserved absolutely no luck in the last two games, if we work hard and stick together we will come through it.

“We don’t want this to tarnish what has been a good season.

“The way we have to look at it is that you are always two games away from being a bad side and two games away from being a good side again.

“We now have three games in 10 days (Forest Green away on Saturday, Gateshead away on April 7 and Southport at home on April 9). If we win a couple of those and draw one, we are a good team again.”

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