BRADFORD (Park Avenue's) assistant manager Lee Fowler has called on his side to be more ruthless, saying that "they can't always be mates".

There was an angry reaction from many fans on social media after the woeful 4-2 FA Cup Second Qualifying Round home defeat to Morpeth Town last Saturday but Fowler urged supporters to get behind them.

He insisted that loss was only the side's third really poor performance since he and Marcus Law (Avenue's manager) took charge last month, and feels sure they can bounce back, despite a difficult assignment at Brackley Town tomorrow.

He said: "(Aside from the Morpeth game) we were disappointing against Alfreton Town and Farsley Celtic but we should have beaten Spennymoor Town and Boston United. We only lost 3-2 at Telford United too.

"We've shown we can defend by keeping clean sheets against Blyth Spartans and Darlington but we do need to be more ruthless. We can't always be mates and we need to change being so nicey. That starts in training."

He added: "Football's not about tactics, it's about having desire. That said, the lads have to take responsibility and retain the information we give them, and be hard to break down."

Calling on the fans to get behind the side, he said: "The fans pay for their ticket so they're entitled to their opinions.

"I understand their frustrations but we're not competing against each other and they have to realise where we are at as a football club too."

That led Fowler on to speaking about the game at Brackley. He said: "We are hoping to make more signings but it's difficult.

"We can't hide behind it but Brackley have one of the most competitive budgets in the league. If you say we can pay x, they can triple x amount.

"I know their managers Kevin Wilkin and Jon Brady well. Over the last three years they've played the same way and kept everyone together.

"You could argue they have better players than us and they're really strong in midfield with James Armson and Shane Byrne. They'll be a threat at set pieces too.

"But we've watched them in the video room this week so we know the strengths and weaknesses of their side that we have to look at."

Regardless of Brackley's good or bad points, Avenue will have to play far better than against Morpeth.

Fowler mused: "It was a different type of game for us because we dominated the ball, so we had more possession and were more open than usual.

"So when we lost the ball, there were gaps and space. They only had two shots in the first half and scored two goals and the manner of those was not great.

"Marcus and I told them to keep up the tempo in the second half but we didn't and then we got a red card and they scored from the free-kick.

"We're disappointed with the performance but we've got to be solid, put in the hard work, and not feel sorry for ourselves.

"Whether we win, draw or lose, we've got to put it behind us and move on to the next game.

"There's no point in over-analysing as it will only drag us down."