Danny Davidson’s second spell at Matlock Town has come to an end after just six matches with manager Mark Atkins releasing the six-foot plus striker this week.
Davidson was substituted half an hour into Monday’s 3-1 defeat at Mickleover Sports which was comfortably Matlock’s worst performance of the season.
He rejoined Town after his release by Worksop at the end of November but has failed to find the target in six matches and has seldom looked like doing so.
Atkins hinted that other players may be moving on and new faces brought in as he looks to have lost patience with some of his squad, the Mickleover result extending the Gladiators’ winless league sequence to eight matches.
Now he says that the Gladiators are looking over their shoulders towards the bottom of the division, rather than the top, and Saturday’s home meeting with Frickley Athletic is now vital.
“We’ve dropped towards the bottom and we can’t hide away from the fact that we need a win desperately now,” said Atkins. “And it’s my job to ensure that we do just that.
“How we do it doesn’t really matter, I have to pick a side that will be up for the battle. The football might not be pretty but it’s points on the board that count now.”
Atkins would not divulge who else may be on the way out or who might be on the inward conveyor belt but he clearly feels changes are needed to arrest a worrying slump in form.
“Monday was not good enough, a lot of players were off form, we were second best nearly all over the pitch and that can’t be allowed to happen, particularly as, with one or two exceptions, you’d say we had the better individual players.
“But our desire levels and commitment just weren’t good enough and we have no complaints with the result.”
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We’d worked on a system in training with three up which we thought would cause Mickleover problems but it didn’t so the change we made was a positive one and we did well for the last 15 minutes of the first half.
“But the second half was really disappointing, apart from Lukey’s (James Lukic) header we didn’t create a worthwhile chance and defensively we were awful. allowing them far too much space.”
Atkins says he can’t “hit the nail on the head” as to what’s gone wrong in recent weeks, but he said that possibly too many of his squad had enjoyed too good a Christmas, judging by Monday’s display.
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“You can’t do that when you want to succeed at football at a decent level. The lads will be in on Tuesday and Thursday and people will be told then exactly what they’re giving and not giving to the team.”
Craig Nelthorpe may be fit enough to return along with Kris Bowler to face Frickley in Saturday’s league clash before the two sides come together in the Fourth Round of the Doodson Sports League Cup, also at the Reynolds Stadium on Wednesday night.
Ben Algar is still a week or two away from a return while as Atkins says, new blood could be introduced ahead of the weekend.
“I’ve some phone calls to make, I apologise to all of our fans for that performance, I don’t want to have to do that again,” Atkins concluded.