TOWN boss Lee Clark laid down the law to his defenders after his side conceded three goals in 13 second-half minutes to be blown away 3-0 at Brentford.
Having looked on course for at least a point, Town capitulated after conceding a controversial penalty on 71 minutes.
Town defender Dean Heffernan was judged by West Midlands referee Andy Hall to have handled the ball, but Clark was more concerned that the Australian left back had not taken positive action to clear the ball rather than questioning the official’s decision.
“The referee gave them the penalty for handball, but that situation could have been avoided if my defender had gone to head or kick the ball instead of turning his back on it,” said Clark.
“Defenders have got to be prepared to get a broken nose or a cut face, because I expect them to do everything they can to stop the ball going into our net.
“I expect all my players to be prepared to put their necks on the line when we are defending our goal.”
The late withdrawal of Lee Peltier, who aggravated an ankle injury in the warm-up, forced Clark play Tom Clarke at left back, while James Berrett deputised for still-injured winger Anthony Pilkington (ankle).
However, Clark felt that the changes had not been at the root of Town’s problems and said: “The changes had no effect on the performance, in fact the two lads who came in, James and Tom, were plus points.
“It is pointless to say that affected us, it was other lads in the team who cost us goals and at least a point.
“But the best team won, because when we went a goal behind we stopped defending properly as a group.
“We gave away two really poor goals and the game went away from us.
“At 1-0 we still had a chance to get something from the game and we were still creating chances, but we didn’t defend with any quality after that.”
Tickets for Town’s game at relegated Stockport County on Saturday, April 24, went on sale today.
Town have an allocation of 3,258 for the match at Edgeley Park.
Season ticket holders who are also Blue & White Foundation Members, Patrons or have stubs from seven away games can buy from today; season ticket holders from 9.30am tomorrow and then Blue and White Members, Patrons and supporters with stubs from seven away games from 9.30am Friday.
Tickets go on general sale from Monday, April 19.
Prices are Popular Side (covered seating) £19 adults, £12 for 16-21 and Over 65 and £6 Under 16s. The Railway End (uncovered seating behind the goal) £17 adults, £12 16-21 and £6 Under 16s.
Supporters requiring disabled tickets should contact Stockport direct on 0845 6885799
Travel tickets are £11 and buses depart at 12.15.