UNHAPPY Alvechurch boss Ian long insists his side must improve in front of goal following festive defeats against arch rivals Redditch United and Tamworth.

Long said: "For the first 45 minutes against Tamworth we played very well. It was a massive improvement on the 4-2 defeat to Redditch.

"We just don't seem to be getting the rub of the green at the moment.

"Either side of Tamworth's opening goal, we hit the woodwork through Aaron Lloyd and Lee Chilton, but it's goals that change games

"It's the first time in my managerial career at both Alvechurch and Tividale that I've lost two league games on the spin.

"I know some supporters weren't happy after the Tamworth defeat, but they have to realise where we are.

"I'm shopping for players at Non League level five and six, while the likes of Tamworth, Kings Lynn and Kettering are able to bring in players from level one!

"That said, we're still well ahead of where we should be. If positions were based on budgets, we'd be in the relegation zone!

Long was also left fuming with some of his players ahead of the Boxing Day game against Redditch.

He admitted: "Let's just say some of them didn't prepare as they should have.

"Those players have since apologised and were left out of the game against Tamworth. I hope it doesn't happen again.

"In truth, Redditch wanted it more than we did and I thought their 3G pitch gave them an advantage.

"We didn't play as well as we could but I've always said we would hit a sticky patch at some point although some of it was self inflicted.

"However, there is no getting away from it, we must do better in front of goal.

"It might seem silly to say we played well having just lost 3-0, but we created plenty of chances against Tamworth but didn't take them".

The defeats have seen Church drop from third to eighth in Evo Stik Southern League Central Premier Division over Christmas but Long remains confident his side can bounce back with a trip to Banbury United on New Year's Day before making the short journey to Stratford Town on Saturday.