Gladiators told to make it up to fans

Craig Hopkins wants Matlock Town to make it up to their fans in the EVO-STIK League on Saturday after their last outing in the top flight ended in a horror show, writes Ian Richardson.

The Gladiators were humbled by a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Nantwich Town two weeks ago and joint boss Hopkins reckons they owe supporters a performance when they kick off against Halesowen Town at the DCJ Group Arena this weekend.

Before taking training with joint boss Glenn Kirkwood on Thursday night ahead of the EVO-STIK League Premier Division clash, Hopkins admitted: “We owe the fans one and we’ll be looking for a big performance.”

The Gladiators head into the weekend after bringing home a point from a 3-3 draw at Witton Albion last weekend and Hopkins hopes to see them build on that result and positive reaction to the Dabbers reverse.

“All the lads want to build on that better performance,” explained Hopkins, pictured. “We played really well in an end to end entertaining game between two good attacking teams so the neutrals must have really enjoyed it. We scored three and hit the woodwork a couple of times and might have won it."

Matlock have struggled to recapture their form of last season but Hopkins believes the Witton display shows they are getting back on course to be their old selves again. “It was a bit more like it," he said. "We’d had a couple of good chats during the week and we all looked at how we could do things better, if you think you can’t do any better in any walk of life then you’re kidding yourself. We worked hard on our shape, things aren’t perfect yet, but it was a step in the right direction.”

Calling on the Gladiators to take one game at a time, starting with the visit from the Yeltz, he added: “Perhaps we’ve been guilty of looking too far forward this season so we’re going back to basics, looking at making the right decisions and getting our game management right.”

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