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Birch wants players to hit back after "embarrassing" performance.
4:50pm Thursday 20th March 2014 in Football
CRADLEY Town boss Nigel Birch has described his team's performance against basement boys Bartley Green as an embarrassment to the club.
Town followed up a good 1-1 draw against Sporting Khalsa, who are in fourth place in West Midlands Premier League, on Saturday with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Bartley Green on Tuesday night.
Birch didn't pull any punches about his side's showing against a team that has only picked up eight points all season.
He said: "Our performance and the result was embarrassing. We weren't at the races at all. I have told the players that they let themselves and the club down and that they need to be a lot smarter with how they play their football.
"Bartley Green worked very hard and I am full of credit for the effort they put into the game, but we were our own worst enemies.
"The pitch wasn't in great condition but we wanted to keep trying to play on the deck. Sometimes you need to realise that you need to go more direct.
"I think the good performance against Sporting Khalsa made the players think they could just turn up and win."
Birch also said he wants to see his side show the right reaction when they face Bromyard at home this Saturday (3pm ko).
"Some of the players looked tired on Tuesday night, so I will rest some of them. It is important that we now take three points at the weekend and the group reacts in the right manner," he added.
Meanwhile, in the Midland Alliance, Causeway United bounced back from last Saturday's 3-0 away defeat against Coleshill, who now sit one place above them in fifth, by beating Kirby Muxlow 3-1 at home on Tuesday night.
The result now gives Causeway momentum going into a local derby against high-flying Tividale this Saturday. The games between the two sides have been close this season, with Tivi winning the last league game and Causeway beating them in the cup.
Manager Andy Mole was pleased with his players reaction to last weekend's defeat and is looking forward to testing his side against the title contenders.
He said: "We redeemed ourselves well against Kirby and put in a really solid performance.
"I'm expecting a close game on Saturday and it would be great to take a scalp and get the bragging rights."