Harmison urges players to stick together as Colliers lose again

Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison admitted that things are not going right for his side on the field.

But he has urged his players that as a collective group they have got to stick together.

After Saturday’s opening day defeat at Washington, the Colliers lost 3-1 against Penrith on Tuesday night with the boss sympathetic towards the Woodhorn Lane supporters.

“I would not have liked to have watched the first two matches of the season had I been behind the barriers,” he said.

“For the first 45 minutes tonight we didn’t play as fluently as we would have liked.

“We didn’t do the things which we did last season, but we were winning the game.

“I just thought the hangover from Saturday where we conceded early knocked the players’ confidence because they started doubting themselves again.

“We lost a bit of discipline, and that was nothing to do with Dylan Williamson getting sent off.

“We seemed to stop doing what we were good at, which was moving the ball quickly, creating space for wide players and hitting teams behind the full backs with pace.

“We have got pace to burn in our side but we are not doing it at this moment in time.

“I’m not sure whether it’s a lack of confidence or belief but things are just not going for the players.

“First half I thought we were better than at Washington on Saturday, but second half we were worse.

“We lost again tonight and that’s the thing which is going to hurt everybody because it hurts me and it’s got to be hurting the players.

“Our performance wasn’t pleasant or pretty and it’s something which we have to improve on.

“There are a few heads which have gone down and a few players are not doing things that they probably should be doing – and that has got to change.”

“As for Williamson’s dismissal by referee Benjamin Speedie eight minutes from time, Harmison said: “The ball was there and Dylan went for it.

“He’s a whole-hearted kid and he made a genuine attempt to get the ball.”

Meanwhile Garth Williams is a definite non starter for Saturday’s home tie in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup against Albion Sports.

The defender or midfielder is likely to be sidelined for up to a month after picking up an injury at Washington.

Harmison said: “It’s disappointing news because Gareth gives experience and that is something which we need when the chips are down.

“When the management first came into the job we had a couple of wins and a couple of defeats but we turned it around.

“Again we are in a position where we have to turn things around, and the FA Cup tie on Saturday is a massive game for us.”