Cox wants Lions to be smarter at the death

Paul CoxPaul Cox
Paul Cox
MENTION late goals and you are likely to receive a dark look from everyone connected with Guiseley.

A lack of ruthlessness in the final third has been cited as a chief reason for the Lions’ ailments this season, but ranking alongside that is their frustrating and costly propensity to concede costly goals towards the end of matches.

That was exemplified in last weekend’s galling 2-1 loss at Dover, when a goal two minutes from time from Ethan Pinnock earned the hosts’ three points and represented another grievous wound to Guiseley’s survival quest.

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It was a case of deja vu with the Lions’ previous league game, with an 88th-minute strike from Danny Rowe earned hosts AFC Fylde the points in an identikit 2-1 success.

All told, Guiseley have seen six precious points slip through their grasp in the final ten minutes of league matches so far this season.

Given that their goals for tally of 27 matches is the joint-second worst in the division, with only basement club Torquay United having scored fewer, the importance of keeping focused towards the end of games cannot be overestimated.

Manager Paul Cox, whose second-from-bottom side host Wrexham tomorrow, said: “This game management has been a problem for a while and something we need to solve ASAP.

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“The performance and energy levels were good (last Saturday), what is a little bit annoying is game management.

“We get to the 85th minute and I am sick of saying it, we should manage the game better to see it out.

“All we can do is dust ourselves down and go again. We have some tough games coming up but we have highlighted ones which we can get a point and maximum points out of.”

Nine points adrift of second-from-bottom Barrow with 17 matches to go, time is starting to run out for Guiseley, who are entitled to grasp on any positivity they can.

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A run of four out of their next five games at Nethermoor is perhaps something, with Guiseley probably grateful for that.

Cox said: “We need to now pick up consistent three points in our remaining 17 games.”

“We want to try and get three points, there is a number of games we feel we can affect and get maximum points. We have got to stay focused and it is amazing if we can get a win and even more so back to back wins would be key.”

FC Halifax Town have posted an advert on their website for a new manager after the departure of Billy Heath.

Heath left the club on Wednesday, with head of scouting Neil Young set to take temporary charge tomorrow, when Town host Dagenham and Redbridge.