Non-League: We’re short on confidence, admits Sheffield FC boss James Colliver

Corey Gregory of Steels
Corey Gregory of Steels

Sheffield FC boss James Colliver admits his side are short on confidence ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup first qualifying round tie against Division One North leaders Farsley Celtic at Dronfield.

Club sit bottom of Division One South without a point in four games following the 2-1 defeat at neighbours Stocksbridge on Bank Holiday Monday.

And Colliver said: “We showed that we’re lacking in confidence against Stocksbridge.

“We were just banging the ball forward, we had no confidence on the ball whatsoever and we gave away soft goals.

“We’ve got 10 players out at the moment but we can’t keep hiding behind the injuries anymore. We’re having to throw young players in, hopefully they will learn from this but they need to learn quickly and get us through this bad patch.

“At the moment we’re lacking a bit of belief and leadership in the dressing room.”

Colliver added: “You do all the pre-season work with players, then the season starts and you can’t get them out on the pitch. We’ve brought in some good creative players who can make things happen but at the moment too many of them are in the treatment room.

“It does get you frustrated, it’s almost been like a rebuilding job but it’s a matter of just getting on with the things.

“We knew the first month was going to be tough when we looked at the fixtures but what is disappointing is that the lads we have brought into the team have not performed.

“It’s also the first time as a manager that I’ve ever lost four games in a row.”

Colliver was hoping to bring in a couple of new faces ahead of the cup tie with Farsley, but looks like being thwarted in his attempts.”

“We’ve put the feelers out for a few players but clubs at this stage of the season are not prepared to let their best players go,” he added.

“While others won’t waive the seven days approach, so we look like having to go with what we’ve got unless something changes.

“It does give the lads another chance to show what they can do but if they don’t produce on Saturday we’re going to have to change.

“The pressure is on me and the players to go out and try and get a result. It will be difficult because Farsley have had an excellent start and are top of their division.”

There was some good news for the Sheffield boss with recent new signing defender Jamie Hadfield and midfielder Ross Goodwin set to return.

Farsley arrive having won four and drawn one of their opening five league and cup games. Managerless Frickley Athletic face a tough tie away at Blyth Spartans - second in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Karl Rose resigned along with his management team of Lee Stratford and James Dudgeon following the 4-0 home defeat against Mickleover Sports.

The Blues are bottom of the table without a point from six games. Jon Hood and Mick Thompson have been put in temporary charge.

Buxton will look to continue their good start at Division One South leaders Witton Albion.

The Bucks are top of the Premier Division where they are undefeated in six, while Matlock Town go to Midland League side Heanor Town the club that joint bosses Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood first managed.

In the League, Stocksbridge Park Steels travel to Newcastle Town looking to continue their recent improvement.

Steels picked up their first win of the season after beating Sheffield 2-1 on Monday that made it four points from the last six games.

Boss Chris Hilton says there is still room for improvement. “It was nice to get the first win under our belts,” said Hilton. “But we’ve got to learn to look after the ball better than we did while our passing in the final third needs to be much better, but at least we now seem to be heading in the right direction.

“It will be tough at Newcastle, they’ve had a decent start but if we perform like we did in the second half at Bedworth then we should get a favourable result. Corey (Gregory) also looks like being ready to return which is a big boost for us as he brings a different dimension to the team.”

Shaw Lane AFC travel to Market Drayton Town where Craig Elliott’s men will be aiming to stretch their unbeaten start to five games.

Fixtures: FA Cup First Qualifying Round: Premier Division: Blyth Spartan v Frickley Athletic, Matlock Town v Heanor Town, Sheffield FC v Farsley Celtic, Witton Albion v Buxton.

Division One South: Newcastle Town v Stocksbridge Park Steels, Market Drayton Town v Shaw Lane AFC.