Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By JON BATHAM tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ @el­lis_red

GOR­DON BARTLETT ad­mits he has his work cut out to ad­dress a cri­sis of con­fi­dence at Wealdstone.

The Stones looked de­void of ideas and at­tack­ing threat in Mon­day night’s ster­ile goal­less draw at home to rel­e­ga­tion-haunted White­hawk – a game in which nei­ther goal­keeper made a mean­ing­ful save.

Bartlett said his team were a long way off the level of that which started the sea­son so well and a month ago despatched Con­fer­ence Na­tional South­port from the Tro­phy. How­ever, he cau­tioned fans against con­fus­ing lack of con­fi­dence with lack of de­sire.

“I have ques­tioned a lit­tle bit of de­sire at times this year, but the qual­ity has been there,” he said. “Tonight, I don’t ques­tion the de­sire but I do ques­tion the qual­ity.”

“There does look to be a lack of con­fi­dence in the group. Here we are five or six games later and from South­port – where it was flow­ing foot­ball and look­ing very good in­deed – to tonight, where we could not string two or three passes to­gether.”

In fair­ness to Stones’ long-stand­ing man­ager, cir­cum­stances meant only five sur­vivors of the mo­men­tous day at South­port started against the Hawks.

His two big­gest goal threats – El­liott Benyon and Matt Wich­e­low – were still side­lined by in­jury and Ricky Wel­lard joined the list of those with a sick note af­ter limp­ing off just af­ter half-time on Mon­day.

Bartlett though, was in no mood to seek ex­cuses, vow­ing in­stead to con­tinue the search for so­lu­tions ahead of Satur­day’s trip to base­ment boys Mar­gate.

“We can’t blame in­juries, we just have to get on with it,” he said. “It was poor qual­ity all round. We worked hard and I don’t think they had a proper chance did they? But on the ball, we didn’t cre­ate any­thing.

“Peo­ple have said about play­ing two up front so we’ve gone two up front, then three up front, but Johnny Wright’s shot with the last kick of the game was al­most the only shot we had.

“It is dif­fer­ent per­son­nel, a dif­fer­ent for­ma­tion, so we can’t say it is for want of chang­ing things or stick­ing with the same old peo­ple.

“There has to be a lot of think­ing in terms of how we shuf­fle the pack again and try and get it back to that con­fi­dence and foot­ball we were play­ing [in the] early part of the sea­son when we were win­ning games and look­ing de­cent.”

Picture: Alis­tair Wil­son AN114503 Wealdstone’s Ricky Wel­lard, pic­tured in his Wim­ble­don days, limped out of Mon­day’s goal­less draw

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