DARLINGTON manager Tommy Wright now has a pretty good idea of the rebuilding job that he is facing after Quakers were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Blackwell Meadows.

Wright, and assistant Alan White, were stunned by the manner of Quakers’ capitulation against third-placed Brackley Town, and his main priority now will be to bring in some much-needed new blood in time for the game at Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday.

Quakers are missing some key players, especially as central defender Dominic Collins will probably be missing for at least one game because of a foot injury, and striker Mark Beck is still at least a fortnight away from a return.

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But Wright also feels that the players need an injection of energy and confidence after a lacklustre showing in the first half, when Brackley took control.

“When we lost 3-1 at Blyth in our previous game, it was a kick in the teeth, but we took away positives from our first half performance there,” he said.

“But against Brackley, to lose 3-0 at home, hit me and Alan White a lot. I thought in the first half we were very lethargic, and I don’t think the game had anything in it until we made mistakes. We spoke at half time about passion, playing for the shirt and what’s expected, and I thought in the second half we did come out and show a little bit of that.

“There are some big strong boys missing because of injury at the moment, and we might be missing them as leaders on the pitch as well.

“We really must iron out these individual mistakes. I don’t know what happened prior to me coming to the club, but I presume the season has been pretty much like it has at the moment.

“If there is a positive, the lads kept going right to the final whistle – I’ve managed teams that have given up in situations like that. The lads are good honest lads, and are all in it together.”

Wright has had plenty of contact from agents since he took over, and he will be stepping up his search for players to strengthen a squad that is now missing four key players.

Aside from Collins, also unavailable is Gary Brown, Mark Beck and Chris Hunter.

“I never stop looking to strengthen the team,” said Wright. “I don’t make rash decisions, but if good players become available and we can attract them here, then we will, as simple as that. Our keeper, Adam Bartlett, is very frustrated because he’s played well in our last two games, but he’s conceded six goals.”

The second goal shut the door on Quakers, who were unhappy about a foul on Stephen Thompson in the build up which went unpunished.

“The referee cost us for the second. Our lads weren’t too happy about the tackle on Stephen which went unpunished and led to the second goal, and yet in the second half we had one of our lads (Joe Wheatley) booked for a similar tackle. I asked the question of the referee and he’s held his hands up and said that if he was wrong, he’s wrong. We’re all human beings and make mistakes.

“Overall, it was another missed opportunity to close the gap on the play off places. We’re making mistakes, and we’re not doing ourselves justice.”

Skipper Phil Turnbull was typically honest in his assessment, and said: “We looked lethargic, and didn’t execute our game-plan. We gave away two poor goals, and didn’t really get into the game until they were 2-0 up.”

There was no real goalmouth incident until the 19th minute, when Turnbull, under-pressure and facing his own goal, was dispossessed midway inside his own half after Bartlett played the ball to him, and that allowed Adam Walker to sprint up the left and cross neatly for Adam Brown to come in unmarked at the far post and head home.

Brackley threatened again with a free kick by Aaron Williams that he squeezed through the defensive wall and Bartlett saved on the line.

Quakers threatened briefly with an effort by Tom Portas that Nuneaton keeper Danny Lewis held on to comfortably, before the visitors went 2-0 up in controversial circumstances just before half time.

Thompson was taken out by a late challenge on the halfway line, but the referee allowed play to continue, and Shane Byrne ran through and squared for Williams to do the honours for the second.

Quakers had a bit more life about them in the second half, but they nearly went 3-0 down when Williams struck the top of the bar from the corner of the box.

In a flurry inside the Brackley box, Portas and James Caton had shots blocked, but at the other end, Brackley were a constant threat, and Williams set up Brown to head against the bar, and in their next attack, Brown forced a point blank save out of Bartlett.

Wright made three substitutions, one of which was enforced when Collins limped off and was replaced by Kevin Burgess, but none of them could prevent the third goal when Glenn Walker pulled the ball back from the left for Ellis Myles to fire in off the post.

There was one late chance for Quakers when sub Harvey Saunders pounced on a poor clearance and broke away, but his lob over the keeper went the wrong side of the post.