Ian Austin admitted some harsh words have been said in the Baxenden dressing room as they prepare for their Ramsbottom Cup final clash with Settle at Edenfield on Sunday.
After a superb start to the season where it looked like Bash could run away with the title and were a strong challenge for silverware on three fronts, they have now won just once in seven in the league and are playing catch-up.
They grabbed that win in their last game against Oswaldtwistle Immanuel on Sunday to give them a boost going into the final but Austin says there has been some soul-searching at Back Lane.
"We have just not been good enough," said the former Lancashire and England one-day all-rounder. "We have been poor, the batting has been poor; the fielding has been sub-standard and no one is taking responsibility. We have not been putting in the effort.
"It has been a big kick up the backside for us and a real reality check after such a good start.
"We seem to think teams will just turn up and roll over for us and that’s not true in this league. Teams have come here and attacked us and we have not been prepared for that.
"We have had a long chat about it and got everything out in the open – not always things people wanted to hear but what needed to be said and we were as honest as we can be without upsetting people. And we changed a few things for the Oswaldtwistle game on Sunday and we won.
"We started well and if anyone has strung a some results together they would have the league title sewn up by now. But we are sill in with a chance of the league although we are playing catch-up but we have to play the teams above us so, in some way, it is still in our hands."
Saying that, after losing the Twenty20 cup final to Read, Sunday’s cup showdown is now their big chance of some silverware this season.
"It’s a one-off game and anything can happen. The best team on the day will get the trophy," said Austin. "Settle have a good pro in Harry Boam and he has got wickets and is the highest run scorer in the league. He has been really consistent.
"There is all to play for but we have to hope that we are through our bad spell where we haven’t played well and got what we deserved out of games – nothing.
"Now we know we can’t afford any slip-ups and have got to win every game we play starting tomorrow against Salesbury and hopefully we will take that into Sunday’s Cup final."
Baxenden, 24 points off the top, ended their run of six successive league defeats against local rivals Oswaldtwistle. But they will be looking to regain their ruthless streak as Ossie hung on to deny Bash maximum points.
Babar Naeem (82) and Austin (97) helped Baxenden reach 239-6.
The visitors limped to 125-7, Oliver Jones joint top-scorer with 32 with batsman number nine Anthony Dignan, before the overs ran out.
The day before Baxenden had Barnoldwick reeling at 15-3 but Barlick dug in to make 160 despite six wickets from Naeem.
Austin’s men would have believed that was within their sights but Naeem top-scored with 36 with only Lewis McIntosh getting into double figures in a disappointing batting show.
Despite losing to Bash, Immanuel beat Settle on Saturday anda top five spot remains within their sights. Pro Chris Cook Martin made a vital 66 in their Saturday win.
Great Harwood remain rooted in the bottom two after their clash at Edenfield was abandoned on Saturday.
And, despite making 193 against Cherry Tree on Sunday with pro Raouf Akbar hitting 60, Cherry Tree passed the mark with six wickets to spare.