New Torquay United head coach Gary Owers wants his new squad to improve after the Gulls fell to a 1-0 home defeat against Macclesfield.

Speaking after his first match at Plainmoor since his appointment, Owers reflected on what was a disappointing afternoon for United.

“The first half I thought we were way off the pace,” said Owers. “If the players think that’s good enough to win a game at home, they’re mistaken. I haven’t come here to sit and watch that. It was very, very average. Second half was slightly better because we forced their goalkeeper into a couple of saves and we created a couple of chances.

“The onus is on us. We’re not in this position for nothing. You can’t just sit and watch games drift by and certainly for 45 minutes we did today.”

Macclesfield were gifted a goal early in the second half after a back pass from Myles Anderson allowed Scott Wilson to capitalise.

“Awful goal. We’re down to 10 men because Callum [Evans] is off the pitch, so we’re slightly out of shape, but I warned the players at half time. We couldn’t keep possession from the throw in, we played back towards our own goal too many times and that goal is a direct result of that.

“Jennison plays it to Myles, who hits a blind back pass and then Scott Wilson gets in and it’s a 1v1 with the keeper. We need more than that. We’ve got to go to the team top of the league next week and no one will give us a chance.”

There were a number of new faces on show during the game, with new signing Rhys Murphy starting and Josh McQuoid coming off the bench in the second half. Owers was pleased with the impact that they managed to have.

“Josh [McQuoid] was lively, he’s a good player. Jennison and Rhys showed little bits. I’ve just had a word with the lads and said ‘they’re here and they all have contracts.’ I expect them not just to put the shirt on, I expect them to earn the money. I’ve told them that directly, it’s not a ride here. This club should not be bottom of the league and we have to try and do something about it.”

One of United’s best chances came in the first half when striker Murphy was brought down, despite appearing to be in on goal. The on-loan forward beat the offside trap, rounded the goalkeeper and was brought down outside the box, but nothing was given. When asked about the incident, Owers believed United had been hard done by.

“It’s pretty simple. If the referee has got that wrong, he shouldn’t be refereeing this week or next week. If he’s got it right, he’s made a good decision. From where I was, he’s 1v1, he’s pushed it past the goalkeeper, so he’s in on goal, why should he fall over?”

United struggled to break Macclesfield down throughout the 90 minutes as they succumbed to another home defeat.

“I don’t think we were hard done by because we didn’t do enough to win. We have to try and win games. We didn’t even do enough to draw, so 1-0 is a fair result.”