ALUN Armstrong has given a ruthless opinion of Darlington’s start to the season and admits there will be changes ahead of this afternoon’s game against Bradford Park Avenue.

The Quakers have lost their opening two games of the season after being beaten 3-2 against Alfreton last Saturday and then followed up that game with a 2-1 defeat to Curzon Ashton on Bank Holiday Monday.

This afternoon, Armstrong and his side will be looking to get their National League North season up and running when they host Bradford Park Avenue at Blackwell Meadows where the Quakers are expected to field different personnel for the game.

Asked if the Quakers boss had calmed down after recent results, he said: “Not really. I haven’t stopped trying to get someone else in who will plug that gap in the middle of the park and it’s causing a little bit of concern but we’ve just got to keep working.

“We know we’ve got enough there but it’s just getting them in that confident mood and getting them playing.

“I thought some of the football we played was decent but you can’t defend like that. It doesn’t matter who you play, you’re never going to win a game of football. It’s been both games unfortunately. It hasn’t changed and it needs to change and it needs to change quickly. Some of them have got to step up.

“There will be changes. I’d be a fool not to make a change but as a team and as a group, we’ve got to do better defensively and everyone can see that.”

Following recent performances, Armstrong admits he wants to see a mentality shift as well as an improvement in performances on the pitch.

“It’s the acceptance that I don’t like, when we accept that we’ve just conceded a goal. It’s just schoolboy stuff. Basic stuff like letting someone have a shot and not clearing your lines and probably stuff that you learn when you are a kid.

“If we get the basics right, we’ll win our games without a doubt because of what we’ve got.

“With the ball we’re a good side but we’re probably our own worst enemy with the ball because defensively we’re not organised enough but I’ve been saying it for a long time that we’re not experienced enough and I need a leader in there that’s going to talk and organise and make sure we’re switched on because at this moment in time, we haven’t got that.

“I’m not asking anything other than do the basics, especially without the ball defensively.

“It’s something that is really bugging me and has annoyed me all pre-season really. We haven’t had the time to work on it in pre-season because of stuff and when we do work on it, something then happens or you’re changing personnel.

“We’ve got to try and do something that will get us those first three points and get us that confidence. With the ball, we’ve got enough ability but we need to make sure we keep that back door shut.

“We’ve got to be positive. We are a positive team with the ball. We’re not a team that’s going to sit back and defend. We’re not good enough to do that.

“We need to get at teams and dominate possession of the football. That’s why we need to be better at the back. That’s why we need that leader to keep talking and keep everyone in shape when we do lose possession because if you look at it on Monday, every time that ball went up, if an attack broke down, their centre forward didn’t have to do anything. Whereas when it went up to our centre forward, they’re getting kicked, he’s getting bullied and he’s having to battle.

“That’s the difference and if we do that then I’m sure we’ll come out with the ball nine times out of ten. But just allowing the centre forward to dictate in both games, that can’t go on.”