Matlock Town boss Paul Phillips remains confident of promotion

Matlock boss Paul Phillips says he’s still confident his side can achieve promotion despite their current bad run of form (writes Ian Richardson)

By Mark Duffy
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 10:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 1:01 pm

The Gladiators lost 2-1 at Mickleover on Saturday and have now won just once in their last nine outings, needing to arrest the slump urgently to ensure they gain a play-off spot if they can’t win the title.

And Phillips says a number of his players need to step up to the plate.

He said: “I don’t think it’s not being able to handle the pressure, it’s more a case of too many people having a bad spell. A few have come in and not lived up to expectations, that’s down to me, I do the recruiting.

Matlock boss Paul Phillips says certain players need to improve if they want to achieve promotion.

"Lads like Al Byrne. Liam Hughes, Alex Wiles and Ryan Qualter have been fantastic. But now they’re having a bit of a drop, others haven’t been helping them out. We’ve got to regroup, reset and go again. We’ve given too many points away through a lack of goals.”

Matlock’s poor run is the worst since Phillips took over in January 2020.

He added: “It’s the first one and hopefully the last and it’s not acceptable. I’m not going to pull the lads to bits, there’s still some twists and turns to be had yet. I’m still confident of promotion, if I’m not who is?

"We’re in a better place than a lot of teams. When I first came I was met with a vacant look in the changing room after a defeat but with this set of lads you go in there and you can tell it hurts them just as much as it does the fans and people behind the scenes.”

Matlock face a massive game on Saturday at fourth-placed Scarborough Athletic, before welcoming Radcliffe to the Proctor Cars Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Seadogs are level on points with Matlock having played a game more. They are expecting a crowd in the region of 1,800 on Saturday with it being Non League Day and the squad that gained promotion to the Football League in 1987 will all be in attendance, along with manager at the time Neil Warnock.

“This is the kind of game I want where we can roll our sleeves up when the chips are down so I’d rather play Scarborough than someone else. It’ll be tough, Scarborough showed at our place they’re a very good side so although it’s a big ask we’ll be looking to win on Saturday,” Phillips added.