THE statistics say it all.

One goal scored in five matches. Two games lost after opposing teams were reduced to 10 men. An average of four forwards parked on the subs' bench and the smallest centre forward in the division asked to plough a lone furrow up front.

Five games where long, high balls were sent to the same player and, as usual, possession was lost. Boring, highly predictable football with no end product and too few shots on goal. Relegated Chesterfield playing us off the park. Plan A and no Plan B. The list is endless.

The football message to our players and fans is clearly all wrong. We are not playing to win. We are playing and set up not to lose. With this approach confidence is quickly eroded away and then we have panic attacks in the last 15 minutes of each match.

Our game is currently easily contained by the opposition who have now sussed us out.

And do not put this on the shoulders of the injured Gary Madine. Gary, bless him, is a six-goals-a-season centre forward who punches just a little above his weight in the final third.

Certainly we do miss him but you cannot just expect him to return on the Port Vale bus and everything will be okay again. It is just too much to ask or expect of him.

What we do need now is a more positive approach and a solid Plan B to get us over the line. Failing that our promotion push is all but a kamikaze pilot's dream of a future after the war.

Tony Ambrose