BRADFORD (Park Avenue) boss Danny Whitaker has admitted that there was always a slight worry about his side’s ability to turn their short-term fortunes around after arriving at the club.

The Macclesfield Town legend took over the reigns as first team manager in December while Avenue were positioned in 18th in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

Unfortunately for Whitaker, things have got worse for the Horsfall side, and they now found themselves slumped in 21st and sit eight points off safety, while the new boss has lost his first seven games in charge.

Ahead of today’s home fixture against Lancaster City, Whitaker admitted to the T&A that the current situation hasn’t particularly come as a major shock to him.

He said: “There was a bit of a worry that a pattern like this might follow when I took the job because you have to look at the whole picture. It’s built up from the start of the season really.

“The team got relegated and then there was not so many changes within the squad, so there was always a danger that this could happen. Once you’ve lost a few games it can bring back bad memories, and then the negative feeling can start setting in again.

“It’s a bad habit when you get on a losing streak and are struggling towards the bottom of the league; I know that because I’ve been there myself in my playing career.

“So, I did envisage it being really tough, I’m not going to lie, but I’d probably expected that we might have picked up a couple of points by now. That said, you don’t truly know what’s gone on before at the club until you’re properly in the building.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Avenue on a six-game losing runAvenue on a six-game losing run (Image: Martin Taylor)

Seven defeats on the bounce can be tough for any team to cope with, but Whitaker believes that it could form part of the learning process ahead of his side reaching their end goals.

He said: “It’s about getting them to believe. First and foremost, they need to have that belief in you as an individual and be able to see what you can bring to the team.

“Secondly, there needs to be an overall belief of what we can achieve as a group. That comes from the players buying into my ideas and how I want to play.

“I do feel like the players have bought into my style of play; we’ve seen the team play some good football at times and create some really good openings in attack.

“Also, a couple of the goals that we’ve scored have illustrated the fact that we want to play in a certain way and that we can achieve our goals if we continue to stick to the process.”

Whitaker added: “On the flip side of things, it’s just as important to be resolute in defence and we need to work on that, so we become a more cohesive unit. Mistakes and errors at the back also need to be cut out because they tend to prove costly.”

Looking ahead to game against Lancaster this weekend, Whitaker said: “It’s been a very positive week at training and there seems to have been a shift in momentum in terms of the lads’ outlook and their preparation for Saturday.

“We need a reaction after the defeat at Hyde because we are well aware that it wasn’t good enough and that we can’t concede goals like that.

“The response has been good but it’s now about showing that we can replicate it on Saturday against Lancaster and not make as many mistakes.”

He added: “Getting a win this weekend would be massive for everyone’s confidence, there’s no denying that. Victories bring momentum and that’s what we are aiming for; we feel that we have what it takes to go on a run once that first victory arrives.

“Harrison Hopper returns to the squad this weekend, which is good for us. Apart from that, there are no new injury concerns for us.”