Assistant manager Paul Johnson was disappointed with Whitley Bay’s performance in their 0-0 draw with Penrith at Hillheads on Saturday.
He said: “In the first half we just weren’t at the races.”
Aware that form has dipped in recent games, he added: “We’ve done so well and we’ve been winning, and the emphasis has been on us really taking charge and winning games, but in the last few games there is that little bit of doubt crept in with a few players and they’re a bit tentative, they drop off a little bit rather than keeping it tight and it showed in the first half.
“In the second half I thought they responded a bit better. I don’t think Penrith had that many chances. We controlled them better in the second half but we still didn’t look like we were going to score.
“The game ended up very narrow because they played a middle three and a front three, which should have left us space to play wide, but we didn’t use it well in the first half and then we went to a front three and it caused them problems, but we didn’t really create chances.
“Overall it’s a bit disappointing, we think we should have got more out of that game.
“The lads are disappointed, they think they should have done better, they know they can do better.
“We’ve had a tough three weeks and it’s going to get tougher right through to December with the games we’ve got.
“We’re playing Saturday and Tuesday every week at the minute, so training is very difficult and it’s hard to get very much out of them on a Thursday.”
Johnson said he is frustrated with the continuing injuries, which he blamed partly on the number of rescheduled fixtures that have been arranged between now and early December.
“When we’re playing so many games you pick up injuries,” he said.
“I wish we did it the old way with fixture loading at the end of season rather than at this time of the year when the Vase is coming up and there are so many important games.”
Johnson had no hesitation in picking out Dan Gladstone as his man of the match.
He said: “Dan’s done great, he was man of the match today, his saves at key moments in the game kept us in it.
“He’s a young lad, he’s still learning and I’m pleased for him.
“He’s been sitting on the sidelines waiting for his chance and as a goalkeeper, when your chance comes, you’re in the spotlight and since coming into the side he’s done well, really well.”