Sluggish starts cannot continue

Nick Pollard

Nick Pollard

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Harborough Town boss Nick Pollard is urging his players to make sure they go off with a bang.

Sluggish starts to their last couple of games have seen them needing to come from behind to claim points.

On Tuesday night they managed to do just that against a struggling Kirby Muxloe side as they came back to win 3-1.

But the goal they conceded early on against Sleaford on Saturday proved the only one of the match and it ended 1-0 – despite Harborough being awarded a penalty.

It is a worrying habit to develop and a malaise the manager wants them to get out of.

“I’m really disappointed that it takes us to go a goal down before we start playing,” Pollard said.

“We need to start from the first whistle. Although we managed to get ourselves out of it against Kirby, when you are playing the better teams you might not get that chance.

“The first 20 minutes of a match are key. We need to retain the ball and make better decisions and we haven’t been doing that.

“The Sleaford and Kirby matches were very similar – in both we didn’t turn up until half-time.

“At Sleaford we were exposed to the elements but we didn’t look like getting back into it in the first half.

“We had the wind against us in the second half and if anything it helped us.

“After the break we absolutely dominated. We had a penalty saved and the follow-up blasted over and I honestly thought if we scored then we’d go on and win the match.

“Kirby was more comfortable after a while.

“We really needed a good performance against them after Saturday and that is why they disappointed me in the first half.

“We changed things around with a couple of substitutions and switched formation and we got three goals.

“We probably could have gone and got more as well.

“It’s nice to take that into Saturday’s game with Peterborough Northern Star.”