VAUXHALL FC manager Owen Brown has vowed to wield the axe on his struggling team and bring in fresh blood for the New Year as he seeks his first league win.
The Motormen's torrid season sunk to new depths on Boxing Day as they slipped into the bottom three after a 3-1 defeat at basement dwellers Burscough.
Following the loss, Brown is now expected to make drastic changes in both personnel and playing style.
He said: 'We've tried to play our way out of trouble but now it's time to go back to basics and bring in some people who can do the gritty side for us. Everybody has been given an opportunity and some have taken it whereas others haven't. We're still making basic mistakes and no matter how much preparation you do, you can't plan for schoolboy errors.
'We're in a dogfight and we're going to have to fight like dogs. We've got to get that first win under our belts to boost confidence and give us all a lift, but nobody's going to hand it to us on a plate.'
Brown has already swooped to strengthen his de-fence, bringing Brad Cullen back to the club. Despite spending much of his previous spell at Rivacre Park on the bench, Cullen is described as a talented back-four player with a cool temperament.
Brown said: 'Work commitments have prevented Cullen from playing on Saturdays in recent months and he has been turning out for Sunday teams, but a change of circumstances have enabled him to re-launch his UniBond League career and he will be considered for selection on Saturday, hopefully alongside another defensive recruit who we expect to sign later this week.'
Mike Tomlinson will step up his comeback on Saturday with a run-out for one of Vauxhall's reserve teams, probably the West Cheshire League side.
Brown said: 'It's frustrating when you've got someone of Mike's quality but can't use him as you know that some of the players you're trying to bring in aren't as good as him, but I'd like to think that by the time he's fully fit in a couple of weeks, we'll have an embarrassment of riches in defence.'
Vauxhall host Ashton United on Saturday (3pm) before travelling to Altrincham for a rearranged UniBond League Cup third-round tie on Tuesday (7.45pm).