CHIPPENHAM TOWN: 'They're playing for their futures,' says Collier

Wiltshire Times: Chippenham Town chief Mark Collier was dismayed by this afternoon's 4-2 defeat to Bideford Chippenham Town chief Mark Collier was dismayed by this afternoon's 4-2 defeat to Bideford

CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier reminded his squad that some of them are playing for their long-term futures at Hardenhuish Park after this afternoon's miserable defeat at the hands of Bideford.

Late goals from Rob Dean and Alan Griffin may have restored some pride but did little to make up for an encounter where Chippenham were second-best, with the home side slipping to a 4-2 defeat.

The visitor's Owen Howe and Matt Hockley both scored twice, with Chippenham keeper Ben John also saving a Hockley penalty, and boss Collier was at odds to explain where his side's under-par display came from.

“I try and take positives form every game – and today, there haven't been any,” said the Bluebirds chief.

“It was a very, very poor performance. We looked lethargic from the first minute to the last minute, we were off the pace, we didn't mark properly, we didn't defend properly, the midfield players didn't get on the ball, the wide players didn't have an effect and the strikers were inefficient.

“What myself and Tom (Jones) are asking is why because performances have been good of late and there was no reason for it.

“Where has that come from? Because it was nothing like Chippenham Town of the last month or so.

“As we said to the players in there, some of these lads are playing for their futures at the football club. This is a big non-league football club and they should want to be here, and those kinds of performances don't fill me with a great deal of heart for next season.

“Three or four have held their hands up and said 'I've performed poorly' and a few others have not been so forthright but you're never going to win any games at this level playing like that.

“We've got exactly what we deserved and in fact, I think we were lucky to come away losing 4-2.

"I think a lot of our players lacked a bit of heart and spirit out there today and that's the disappointing thing because myself and Tom can't give them that – that has to be in their locker.

“They need to look at themselves because there's no excuse for that performance. It's the same players that have put in good performances and I can only hope it's a blip.”

Chippenham make the short trip to eighth-placed Hungerford Town next Tuesday evening and Collier is expecting a tough clash against a side sporting a host of players he worked with at Swindon Supermarine, such as Nick Stanley, Luke Hopper, Bradley Gray and Gary Horgan.

Hungerford thrashed Banbury United 7-0 this afternoon.

“It's a difficult place to go and if we perform like we did today then they'll score another seven, I'll imagine,” said Collier.

“We'll sit down and make sure that the team's organised and prepared to put in a better performance.”

LOG ON TO GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT NEXT TUESDAY EVENING FOR LIVE UPDATES FROM CHIPPENHAM TOWN'S TRIP TO HUNGERFORD TOWN IN BLUEBIRDS LIVE. MORE BLUEBIRDS NEWS AND REACTION IN NEXT WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD.

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