Brittle Brakes bring in defensive reinforcement

Paul Holleran looks to speed up play during Saturday's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Harrogate. Picture: Morris  Troughton
Paul Holleran looks to speed up play during Saturday's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Harrogate. Picture: Morris Troughton

Leamington boss Paul Holleran has addressed his side’s soft centre by bringing in former loanee James Fry in time for tomorrow’s FA Cup second qualifying round match at home to Wroxham.

Brakes suffered their third home defeat of the season last Saturday, with Harrogate Town bouncing back from a heavy home defeat to record a 3-1 win.

After a one-sided first half, Leamington looked to have got out of jail thanks to Richard Batchelor’s 42nd-minute equaliser.

However, despite a much-improved second-half showing from the hosts, goals in the final 15 minutes from Craig Nelthorpe and Dave McGurk secured all three points for Town and left Holleran bemoaning his side’s lack of fight.

“I’m looking to bring in another defender,” said Holleran in midweek. “We’ve got one or two players who aren’t used to this amount of games.

“Against Guiseley, Harrogate and Barrow we’ve not been able to cope with the physicality.

“We struggled with Harrogate’s tempo, power and know-how and our game management has got to be better.

“We all want us to string 15-20 passes together, but you’ve got to earn the right to play - you need to win the fight.”

The capture of the Birmingham City under-21 captain, who made four appearances at right-back for Brakes last season, will allow Holleran to restore last season’s Players’ Player of the Year James Mace to the heart of the defence.

However, the Leamington boss is not planning wholesale changes against the Ryman Division One North minnows, with previous FA Cup exits at the hands of lesser lights looming large.

“Wroxham have won a few games to get here but we’ve got to get through to the next round,” said Holleran.

“We won’t make the same mistakes as in the past.”