Garry Flitcroft, manager of Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division club Chorley, may be set for another….
….swoop in the transfer market as he looks to solve the club’s goalkeeping problem.
Current Magpies number one Jack Cudworth is suffering a crisis of confidence at the moment after a few high-profile mistakes in recent matches.
And Flitcroft admitted his young goalkeeper may benefit from a spell on the sidelines to help regain some much-needed confidence.
The Chorley boss felt Cudworth was at fault for a couple of goals last Saturday in a 3-1 defeat at Hednesford Town, including a glaring error when he threw the ball out to kick downfield but did not spot an opposition player lurking behind him.
Flitcroft is eager not to pin all the blame on his young stopper but is keen to strengthen the goalkeeping department, which has become something of a problem position since Russell Saunders left Victory Park in the summer.
“Jack’s done well for us since he come in,” Flitcroft said. “But I just think he’s lost a bit of confidence recently.
“I’m looking to strengthen in that area and bring in a bit of competition.
“It has been a bit of a problem position this season.
“The keeper who came in the first place – Andy Robertson – did not quite step up to the level we are at.
“I just think Jack has lost a bit of consistency, so strengthening in that area is something to look at.”
Meanwhile, Flitcroft has refused to rule out a play-off charge this season despite his men being down in eleventh position in the league table, having picked up just two wins from their past eleven league games.
The run has been by far the worst sequence of results since the former Blackburn Rovers skipper took over at Victory Park in 2010. They did manage to end their long winless run by beating high-flying Marine 1-0 on Boxing Day and then followed that up a with a thumping 4-1 victory over Kendal Town on New Year’s Day.
Unfortuntately, sandwiched in between those two wins was a 3-2 loss at home to lowly Whitby Town.
Flitcroft, whose team welcome Blyth Spartans to Victory Park tomorrow, is still buoyed by the fact that the play-offs are still within touching distance.
But he concedes his men, who have played a number of games more than many of their rivals, cannot afford many more slip-ups if they are to keep their promotion hopes alive.
“We’re only five points off the play-off positions,” Flitcroft said.
“I said to the lads five days before the Christmas period that we have played some really good football, but I think individual errors are costing us.
“We have played a few more games than everyone else but having games in hand is not always a good thing.
“Sometimes it’s better to have points on the board.
“Fylde have got a big build-up of games – they’ve lost a couple recently. We’ve just got to concentrate on winning as many games as we can.
“We’ve got Blyth tomorrow and we beat them 4-1 up at their place earlier in the season, which was a great result because that’s a tough place to go.”
Striker Darren Stephenson also netted his first goals since returning to the club over the Christmas period.
Flitcroft had to bide his time before swooping for the former Southport man – who spent a successful loan period at Victory Park earlier in the season – because he had to get Steve Foster, Ciaran Kilheeney and Chris Denham off the wage bill.
Flitcroft said: “I had three strikers who I needed to get out, but it was difficult because they were all on contract.
“They were all picking up good money and maybe didn’t want to move on.
“We finally got them out and I’ve wanted Darren all the time. He came in earlier in the season and did well and I’ve got him in again and he’s scored a couple of goals.
“Darren’s my kind of player. He’s a young lad, got a great attitude, enthusiastic, and works hard.”
Chorley are also expected to be boosted this weekend by the expected returns of long-term absentees Keiran Walmsley, Jamie Vermiglio and Tom Walker.