Warrenpoint have no excuse for poor start, but they could have a future star says Tipton
Matthew Tipton says inexperience is no excuse for Warrenpoint Town's poor start to the season. The Co Down side, promoted to the Danske Bank Premiership last term, have lost six of their opening seven league matches.
And it doesn't get any easier, with Linfield next up tonight.
But Tipton does not believe the step up in class from the Championship is a valid reason for their early season struggles.
He pointed to the arrival of players with top-flight experience during the summer, with Neil McCafferty, Sean Mackle and former international goalkeeper Alan Blayney all coming in.
Tipton - who carved out a career in the professional game with a string of English clubs before rocking up in the Irish League via Dundalk - has been unhappy with Warrenpoint's defending and believes they are making too many basic errors.
"I've signed players with Premier League experience so it's not a steep learning curve," Tipton said. "Because if they don't know now what to do at this level then we are in trouble, aren't we?
"I played at this level, and obviously levels above this, and you can say it's a steep learning curve, but for me it's not.
"Players know. What's to learn about what to do when the ball drops in your penalty area?
"If they need to be taught that, at this level, then we are in trouble.
"It's not a steep learning curve - get the ball and clear it. What do you need to learn about that? What do I have to teach someone about that? This happens week in, week out. So maybe I need to put someone in the team who will do it."
Warrenpoint slipped to another loss at Dungannon Swifts last weekend when the main positive was the performance of Lorcan Forde. Tipton has high hopes for the teenage attacker.
"Lorcan is an exciting talent and I thought he was superb," he added.
"He was a threat and was constantly getting in at the back post when the ball was on the opposite wing.
"It was everything we work on with Lorcan."
David Healy's champions will move top on goal difference if they beat Town, before Coleraine take on Glentoran tomorrow.
"My first competitive match as Linfield manager was at Warrenpoint and we won the game, so I have happy memories of going there," said Healy.
"Linfield have always had difficult games at Warrenpoint, so it will be tough."
- Warrenpoint T v Linfield, Danske Bank Premiership: Milltown, Tonight, 7.45pm