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Time for us to deliver says skipper Whitehead
12:00pm Saturday 5th January 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
CLUB captain Stuart Whitehead wants more of his Worcester City team-mates to step up to the plate to ensure their play-off push remains on track.
The former Kidderminster Harriers centre-half has been missing since the 1-1 mid-November draw against Workington with a torn thigh muscle, during which time City have won just once — 2-0 over Bradford Park Avenue.
Whitehead returned to the team as a second-half substitute in the 4-2 New Year’s Day derby loss at Gloucester City but Worcester were already four goals behind when he entered the fray.
He has now called on his colleagues to produce the form which made them a regular fixture in the Blue Square Bet North top five in the first-half of the season, starting at Colwyn Bay today (3pm).
He said: “We’re half-way through the season now — we’ve tailed off in the last few games but overall we’ve done well.
“We’ve got to put it right, people have to stand up and be counted now and start delivering performances.
“I don’t think we’ve had enough match-winners and delivered enough performances for the last month. To win games regularly, we’ve got to start doing that.”
Whitehead, replaced as skipper during his absence by Rob Elvins and once by Ellis Deeney, continued: “We started the (Gloucester) game well in the first 30 minutes and probably had the lion’s share of possession.
“We were on top but didn’t take advantage of our dominance and got hit by a sucker-punch in the last minute of the first-half.”
He added: “Within three minutes of the second period starting we were 2-0 down. Whether it’s because we’re a young side, I don’t know, but the confidence seemed to drain out of the lads and before we knew it we were 4-0 down.
“When you’re doing things like that in games there’s no way back. It probably happens one in a million times when you come back from 4-0. We’ve got to sort that side out.
“Whether it’s a mental thing or a confidence issue, we don’t know. We’re all going to have a chat, find out and see where we go.”
The 36-year-old was a mainstay of the defence until he pulled up against Workington but is now fully recovered and raring to go.
Whitehead added: “I’ve been out for a while so I still feel a bit off the pace but if the gaffer needs to call on me I am definitely ready.”