WANDERERS boss Gareth Ainsworth admits that a lack of goals is the biggest challenge facing his side after an unsettled strikeforce failed to find the back of the net during the 2-0 loss to Rochdale at Adams Park.
It was the 12th time this season Ainsworth’s men have drawn a blank in a league game, with forwards Dean Morgan and Reece Styche both missing chances to get the home side back in the game against the league leaders.
With frontmen Steven Craig and Matt McClure missing through injury and Jo Kuffour picking up a knock in training, Styche got the nod up front alongside top scorer Morgan.
But the Gibraltar international is yet to register his first goal in a Blues shirt after making ten appearances since signing on loan.
And although Ainsworth was pleased with his side’s performance, he knows that the failure to make their chances count could cost them dear as Wanderers continue to hang precariously above the dropzone.
He said: “Rochdale who probably had less chances than us and less corners, but stuck their chances in the net and that wins games. That's why they’re top of the league, you‘ve got to take those chances.
“We’ll be working on that and we’ll go again Tuesday, but if we keep performing like that, I've said all along we'll be fine. That performance was good enough it’s just that final thing of sticking it in the net and we’ll be working on that.
“We need to put the ball in the back, of the net, it’s precious at this stage of the season. Your injuries, your suspensions all come into it.
“It’s about reaction in front of goal and slotting those chances home, We know we can do it we just need someone to take the mantle and start scoring goals and keep the club in the football league and we can build again for next year.”
Dogged by injury problems and suspensions, Ainsworth has been forced to tinker with his forward line almost constantly since the beginning of the year.
The 2-0 defeat to Rochdale was the tenth consecutive game Blues have fielded a changed front pairing, with Ainsworth aware of the cost this lack of consistency can have on results.
And after slumping to their tenth home defeat of the season against Rochdale, he voiced his frustration at being unable to generate any momentum up front as a lack of goals remains Blues’ biggest obstacle to league survival.
He said: “It’s tough, every time we’ve done well and won and the strikers have performed well I’ve tried to keep them together but then we go and lose both of them.
“We’ve had suspensions, we’ve had injuries and it’s no excuse it happens and it’s up to me to try and get the best together.
“I was very impressed by the way Reece and Dean lead the line, I thought Styche had a really good game and created a chance for himself and on another day scores it.
“He was a pain in the side of Rochdale all game and if he keeps doing that he’ll be a handful for other teams.
“The strike partnership has been an issue without a doubt but it’s part and parcel of football trying to keep strikers fit and on the pitch, and more importantly trying to keep them scoring and that’s what we need to do now.”