BRADFORD (Park Avenue) boss Danny Whitaker has urged his urged his side to bounce back strongly after last week’s disappointing 4-0 defeat at Marine.

The Horsfall outfit had gone three games unbeaten in the lead up to the trip to Merseyside, which came after an eight-game spell of consecutive defeats.

Having seen his side’s fortunes change recently, Whitaker is hopeful that last weekend’s loss acts as only a small bump in the road as Avenue look to complete the great escape and survive.

Reflecting on the trip to Marine, he said via Avenue's social media : “It was a heavy defeat and I was really disappointed, of course.

“It was unlike us, particularly in recent weeks where we’ve been able to pick up some good results and put in some strong performances.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was always going to be a tough trip to Marine, especially because of where they are in the league. They’ve got a strong, solid and organised team and that’s why they are right up there.

“But was I expecting it to go the way it did? No, I wasn’t, and I was expecting a lot more from my lads, but I’m hoping it’s just a one off because we have been really good recently.”

Avenue return to the Horsfall on Saturday where they will take on Stafford Rangers, the side directly below Whitaker’s side in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

With both teams on 21 points and looking to wriggle their way out of the relegation zone, it’s going to be a crucial clash and Avenue’s boss has urged his side to remain focused after defeat last weekend.

Whitaker said: “The focus remains the same for us, as will the preparation for the game against Stafford.

“I wasn’t expecting us to go through the rest of the season without being beaten, so we were aware that there would be a blip or a bump in the road. However, it’s about how we react to defeat, and we will give ourselves the best chance to win at the weekend by preparing well.

“I’ve said to the lads on a few occasions that it’s all to play for, so it’s okay to be disappointed after a defeat like the one at Marine, but it’s about using that feeling to get better.

“We have been in a great place recently, so it’s about bringing that feel-good feeling back into the group so that we can go again on Saturday.”