STEVE Cuss insists out-of-form Wimborne Town will stick with their brand of attacking football and admits: “We can’t play any other way.”
In a candid assessment of recent fortunes, the Magpies manager conceded that their play-off aspirations had been dented by defensive lapses having leaked 45 goals in their 25 league matches so far.
After more than a month without playing, back-to-back defeats against Bishops Cleeve and Stratford Town have further diminished their hopes over the past week as they failed to close a gap of 10 points to the top five.
Discussing the progress of his 11th-placed side, Cuss told the Daily Echo: “The problem for us has been conceding too many goals.
“While we have been quite free scoring, we have certainly lacked something in defensive areas.
"We have used quite a few different defenders to try and find the right combination and with us being an attacking side we do leave ourselves a bit short at times.
“As a group, we are all frustrated but we are very together in our thoughts. We can’t play any other way because we are not the sort of side who can go out and dominate physically.
“I want us to be expansive and we will continue to play that way. Some of our players maybe be more suited to higher levels of football but come up a bit short when sides are more physical.
“We have talented footballers which is why we play the way we play. We are not blessed with a physically powerful side.”
It is understood Middleton, a defensive stalwart at Bashley prior to his Cuthbury switch in November, is looking for another club.
Cuss has also given dual-registered goalkeeper Dan Ackerman permission to prioritise Hamworthy United’s fixtures for the foreseeable future, while youngster Liam Donachy will get game time at Christchurch.
On Middleton’s departure, Cuss added: “We decided the time was right to adjust the squad again and he is looking for a club. We felt we had enough in our central defensive areas to let Gary go.”
Wimborne hope to get their season back on track with a trip to fifth-bottom Didcot Town tomorrow (3pm).
Magpies: (from) Harvell, Arnold, Oliver, Wilson, Costello, Blake, Kemble, Davidson, Sainsbury, Stokoe, Gamble, Griffin, Webb, Maybury, Burton-Hemmings, Roast.