Gallagher is urging Blues to get tough
Every member of the Lowestoft Town squad is playing for his future, according to joint boss Ady Gallagher after another below-par display saw them drop points at home to Leatherhead.
After Billericay dropped points against Carshalton Athletic on Friday the chance was there for Lowestoft to re-establish themselves in the title race against relegation-threatened Leatherhead.
However, after another lethargic display, Gallagher admitted his side have not been mentally strong enough to stay in the championship race.
'It wasn't good enough – it's happened too many times this season and it's unacceptable,' he said. 'Mentally, we're not strong enough. This is a big club and players have got to be able to live with that.
'We're a good side with good players but you get judged on what you win. Too many times this season we have not hit the standards that we expect. Today was typical of that.
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'Every single one of them is playing for their future. We're driven enough as a management team to make sure players earn their crust.'
Chris Henderson gave the Blues the lead in the 35th minute with a predatory finish but two goals in two minutes from the visitors through a Greg Andrews penalty and a calm finish from Harry Ottaway saw Leatherhead hit the front.
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Gallagher was seething with his side for the manner in which they conceded the second goal when a long punt forward bisected the Blues defence to allow Ottaway to finish.
'We said to them at half-time don't get done by the straight ball and we have,' added Gallagher, whose side at least came back to claim a point thanks to Henderson's second of the afternoon. 'The second goal is a joke – it was criminal and it's unacceptable. The players need to be better.
'We've got to be stronger both physically and mentally. We've got to compete against teams like these who just stick it in there and hunt things out in the box.'
Gallagher hinted that a more physical approach may need to be adopted in this league to compete against the likes of Billericay, who look set to bulldoze their way to promotion.
'We have to be more robust and our quality has to shine through after that. Billericay are up the top of the table and they are the most robust side you will find in this league.
'Are they better than us? No, they're not, technically they are not even close. But they have delivered week in, week out, playing to a pattern and they give the manager what he expects. We haven't.'
Lowestoft travel to Suffolk rivals Bury today with the Ram Meadow outfit also looking to cement their play-off place. Gallagher's side will be boosted by the return of Andrew Fisk, who has served his two-match suspension for picking up two yellow cards.
'We know what Bury are about – they are very direct in their running at teams,' said Gallagher. 'The challenge is there for the boys to show that the y are not mentally weak and they are capable of playing to a consistent level.'