FLEETWOOD Town boss Micky Mellon is planning a shake-up at the back for Saturday’s home match with Wrexham after lambasting his side’s “schoolboy” defending in the 2-1 reverse against pace-setters Crawley.
Mellon complained: “Some of the defending was ridiculous. We are not going to be successful in any league if we defend like that.
“It is always going to be a mountain to climb when you go 2-0 down against a team like Crawley.
“We just have to keep going, try to win games and to eradicate errors which are costing us games, so we will have a think during the week and maybe give a few other people chances.”
Fleetwood went behind to a first-half penalty for a foul on Richard Brodie, who was then allowed too much time to score the second.
Of the penalty, Mellon said: “As soon as he went into the box, if anyone dangled out a leg he was going to go down.”
But for the second the Fleetwood boss was scathing of his own side. “It was schoolboy defending. We allowed him to go inside and curl one in.
“You would not allow a youth team to defend like that. We should have shown him the line and slowed him down.”
Mellon added: “It took us too long to make their keeper work hard. After we went 2-0 down we had a go and showed that we wanted to get something out of the game.
“We should have played like that from the first whistle. We certainly deserved something from the game, there is no doubt about that.
“Their keeper made some great saves but we should have started with that intensity and that bravery to get forward and back our ability.
“We had chances and on another day we would have done better. You can say we showed a lot of spirit at 2-0 down to battle back into the game, but we have to do better when the scores are level and get the basics right.
“Crawley were gritty and determined but I don’t think they played particularly well or put us under any sustained pressure. And they didn’t pass the ball as I would have expected.
“What they do is defend well and have two front men who work their socks off.
“We gave them too much respect early on. Maybe we played with a little fear in the first half.”
He said Fleetwood suffered from the early loss of Gareth Seddon with an ankle injury.
“It made it a different game and we lost that physical presence, power and aerial ability he gives us.”
Mellon said the side would continue to strive to reach the play-offs: “There are still eight games to go, and we have to stay positive and try and get better.”
Crawley manager Steve Evans considered his side worthy winners and criticised some of Fleetwood’s tackling in the first half.
“I think the result was more than justified. We withstood a bit of pressure late on but we could have won very comfortably at one stage with the chances we had.
“Micky Mellon has a good side here and great backing, and this was always a match we saw as difficult but we have some big characters.
“One or two of the challenges in the first half were x-rated. Perhaps on another day Fleetwood wouldn’t have had 11 men at half-time but the referee gave decisions as he saw them for both sides.”