ASK ADAM Lockwood and the fact that Guiseley are in home action this evening represents perhaps the one saving grace for him following Saturday’s surprise Nethermoor setback to North Ferriby.
Following a strong run of home form stretching back to the end of September, aspects of the Lions’ weekend performance were uncharacteristically below-par against the Villagers, who triumphed 2-1 – with Lockwood expecting considerable improvement against Barrow tonight.
Even accounting for the weekend dismissal of Danny Lowe for violent conduct, which left the Lions a man light for the final 20 minutes, Lockwood remained unhappy with the manner of his side’s defeat to their East Yorkshire opponents, who completed the double over them.
After doing plenty right in an outstanding 10-match unbeaten National League sequence at Nethermoor stretching back to September 27 – and away from home too of late – Lockwood was the first to admit that his side fell below their high standards and has let his players know that he fully expects normal service to be resumed tonight.
Not that they needed any extra reminding, with his players quickly acknowledging themselves that facets of their display and game management left a fair bit to be desired.
On what he expects from 19th-placed Guiseley, who are just one point above fourth-from-bottom Maidstone United with plenty of work to do yet before completing their Great Escape mission, Lockwood said: “What we have got in that changing room is passion and you go in and speak to them about the game and the beauty of that changing room is that I know that (Saturday’s display) won’t happen again not in terms of bad play, but little things creeping into the game.
“Ultimately we kept below our standards.
“They all know that our standards weren’t reached and they have been over the last 25 games, which have been outstanding.
“We have got another game and opportunity as a club to show what we are about and we have been consistently doing that.”
Tonight’s opponents Barrow retain a chance of the play-offs and can move within two points of sixth-placed Dover with victory tonight, with Paul Cox’s side one of those two teams along with Guiseley to beat leaders Lincoln City since Christmas.
The Bluebirds comfortably saw off the Lions 3-0 in the reverse fixture in November, with extra motivation provided for Guiseley in their quest to get back on track.
Lockwood said: “Every game is a tough test and I have said it. Barrow on a Tuesday night is definitely a tough test.
“But we will be preparing the best that we can as we always do and I will be disappointed if our standards drop below where we are (again).
“We need to make sure we get back to our standards as quickly as possible and hopefully that is on Tuesday night.”