TOM Killick has pledged not to overanalyse Poole Town's plight in National South, insisting: "We are just not playing well enough."

Heading into Saturday's trip to play-off chasers Braintree Town, Dolphins are 20th in the standings and four points from safety.

Boss Killick, who has guided Poole to four promotions and five league titles during 14 years in charge, does not want to seek excuses for his team's current struggles.

He told the Daily Echo: "It's very easy to start looking too closely. It's easy to say how we do things is wrong, both in terms of the management team and the players.

"They are the things we have been doing for many years which have brought us a lot of success so I think it's important to realise the reality of a situation is whatever other factors come into play.

"The fact is we need to perform better. You can talk about tactics, fitness, discipline and injuries but we are just not playing well enough individually and as a team.

"Sometimes, it's important to concentrate on that and not to deflect on to other things."

Poole have conceded nine goals in their past three games, four of which came in a 4-0 home drubbing by Eastbourne Borough last Saturday.

Killick said: "We were disappointed with the goals we let in against Gloucester but Havant was a bit of an exception because of the circumstances – we had 10 men and one of the goals was a direct free-kick.

"Certainly, four goals at home against Eastbourne was an unmitigated disaster and should not have happened.

"Everyone knows defending is a thing which has to be done as a team. You don't just blame the strikers when you are not scoring goals and you don't just blame the defenders when you are conceding goals.

"If everyone is determined and works hard, you let in fewer goals."

Killick had yesterday been pursuing a new signing to bolster his options. The manager was also waiting on the availability of Jez Bedford after he was recalled by parent club Portsmouth prior to their midweek win at Fleetwood.

Skipper Jamie Whisken is set to return but Lewis Lindsay is doubtful with a broken toe and Jack Dickson remains sidelined.

Killick added: "You look at teams like Gloucester. If you win three games on the bounce, suddenly you can go from the mire to being in a hugely positive position so I think we know how quickly things can change.

"The big thing is you can't let too big a gap open up. Four points is more than we would like and we don't want that gap to grow.

"The players know what's at stake. They know the standard they produced last weekend was unacceptable so I'm sure they will be very determined to put in a much better showing.

"I'm hoping they know they need to raise things and in the past they have been good at doing that."