FC Halifax Town 4-0 Bradford Park Avenue: We were punished for poor defending, says Bower

FC Halifax Town v Bradford Park Avenue.'Former Town player Mark Bower who has just been appointed manager of Bradford Park Avenue
FC Halifax Town v Bradford Park Avenue.'Former Town player Mark Bower who has just been appointed manager of Bradford Park Avenue

Bradford Park Avenue boss Mark Bower admitted his team’s defensive deficiencies cost them dear in their 4-0 defeat at FC Halifax Town.

Ex-Halifax captain Bower took charge of his first game at the helm after being appointed on Thursday but found himself on the wrong end of a thrashing at his former club.

Three goals inside the first 20 minutes ended the game as a contest before a fourth after half-time added the gloss.

Bower said: “You know it’s going to be pretty direct, they’re (Halifax) going to put the ball in the box.

“You’ve got to be prepared for that, limit the occasions they put it in.

“But at some point it’s coming in and you’ve got to defend it.

“We restricted them to very little in the first 20 minutes.

“They only put the ball in the box three times and they scored three goals. If you can’t defend that you’ve absolutely no chance.

“If you defend your box like that you’ll concede goals and you’ll lose games.”

Bower is now targeting some new recruits at Avenue, who created a new club record of consecutive defeats since they reformed, to leave them seven points adrift of safety.

“The positive for us is we’ve got a couple of weeks without a game so we can work on some things and we need to bring one or two faces in to get us going,” Bower said.

“It’s going to be a challenge.

“We’ve got a few lads who were playing National League last year, some good experience - Nicky Wroe, Matt Hill.

“But something’s not right at the minute - we’ve just lost 10 in a row - so we’re going to have to make some changes.”

Bower was sacked by Guiseley earlier this season after guiding them to promotion and then safety in the National League, but feels no bitterness towards his former club.

“That’s football these days. Things can change so quickly,” he said.

“We had three good years there, enjoyed every minute and were very proud of what we achieved.

“But in football, if you have a bad couple of weeks that can spell the end.

“I look back on that time with great fondness and hopefully I can use the experience I got from that here and start turning things around.”

Bower was impressed by Halifax on the day, and expects them to mount a challenge for promotion this term.

“I think it’s the first time I’ve lost here as a manager,” he added.

“I didn’t enjoy it at all but it’s a great place and I’m sure they’ll be up there challenging this season.

“I think in any other season this squad would probably walk the league but there’s that much money awash in it this time, and players that probably should be playing National League are in it because they’re attracted by some of the big spenders like Halifax, Salford, Harrogate, Fylde.

“It’s a haves and have-nots type of league. This time last year Jordan Burrow was top-scorer in the National League and he couldn’t even get in the squad.

“It shows what you’re up against at times.”