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Ainsworth: Strikers have to get their confidence back
CONCERNED Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth thinks his strikers are feeling the pressure of not scoring - saying Burton's forward line last night demonstrated the difference confidence can make.
A single Dean Morgan penalty against Cheltenham is all Blues have to show for their efforts in front of goal in the last five games, as Wanderers again drew a blank in last night's 1-0 defeat by Burton Albion.
Adam McGurk had several chances to put the Brewers in front but kept missing the target - but rather than let his head drop he kept going as he was ultimately awarded with the game's only goal.
McGurk's matchwinning header came courtesy of strike partner Billy Kee knowing exactly where he was going to be, and Ainsworth said the difference between his side and promotion-chasing Albion was each team's respective front pairing.
Brewers keeper Rob Lainton wasn't tested anywhere near as often as he should have done despite looking a bag of nerves on the rare occasions he was called into action, with nobody in a Wanderers shirt prepared to be the one to orchestrate the attack.
And the lack of chances and goals is a major worry for Ainsworth.
The Blues boss said: "I'm very concerned. It's not great when you're not scoring goals - you can't win games without scoring goals. We need to address this.
"We've got players in the team who have got goals to their name, they are just not firing at the moment. All the practice we do in training, hitting the target and putting them away, they are not doing it under pressure.
"It's a big problem for me and we'll have to get these strikers hitting the target. It's not just the strikers, it's the balls coming in to them as well. They need to be on a plate, they need to be perfect and we'll be working on that.
"Strikers play with confidence. I played with strikers who, when they're not scoring, they're not scoring. Some could put it right instantaneously, but it does affect some.
"It never affected me, I was always ready, but maybe we've got a few in there it's affecting.
"Matt McClure and Paris [Cowan-Hall] are injured, there's two big goalscorers for us, but the boys can't wait around until they get fit, they have to start scoring goals themselves. The quicker that happens, the better. It's where games are won and lost."
Asked what the difference between the two sides was, Ainsworth said: "Their front two, simple as that. They have played together all season, they're a handful and they have really bossed the game for them. They have kept the ball well and every time it went up there, you felt they could create something.
"On the other side, we didn't boss their centre halves as much as they bossed ours. That's been the difference tonight. It could have been a 0-0 but that one mistake, that one lapse of concentration, affects everything.
"It's end product. We've got a lot of talented players out there who've got a good delivery on them. It's just when you're under pressure, taking the right moment to play the right ball and we didn't do that tonight.
"We could have had a couple of goals but could have's not good enough. We need to start winning games."
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