Manager Paul Cox is urging our players to show much more character in their upcoming games, following today’s disappointing 3-0 loss at Rochdale.
Our team’s winless streak was extended to 13 matches with this dismal defeat, which has left us teetering on the brink of the drop zone in Sky Bet League Two.
Cox, who held frank discussions with his players in the dressing room for nearly an hour after the final whistle, has also frankly admitted that our team are stuck in a relegation battle.
“I’m a realist,” said Cox. “I said after the Accrington Stanley game that we’re in a relegation battle and that is the only way you can sum things up.
“The thing what does me is that this is the same group of players that lost two of their first 13 matches at the beginning of the season, and we’re in the top three.
“I look at some of the teams we played and some of the things what have made us arrive at this place [near the bottom], and sometimes we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.
“The little period [of matches] where we lost man after man, you see confidence drain from the players, but I’ve asked them now to stand up and be counted.
“That’s what I’m about. I think some of the players do understand, but we’ve got tough games ahead and nobody is going to feel sorry for us.”
On the dressing room lock-in, Cox said: “I’ve had a good chat with the boys in the dressing room and I thought today was a performance that looked as though we felt sorry for ourselves.
“That worries me, because if the lads want to stick their heads in the sand and hope this [poor run] goes away, then it’s going to be a while before we win a football match.”
He continued: “We’ve all got one or two things off our chest - both myself and the players. We need to build from tomorrow, where we’re going to watch the DVD and highlight things what we can improve.
“When confidence is low and people seem to be losing their heads, you look for mental strength in people and I’ve been trying to get across to the boys that this [situation] isn’t going to go away.”
Despite winning no fewer than seven corners, our side failed to register a single shot on goal during today’s match - something which has frustrated our manager immensely.
“When you play with three forwards, it’s a tough [fact] to take really,” continued Cox.
“I think when you’re down there [near the bottom of the table] and the players are in that dilemma, it’s hard sometimes, but players have got to drag themselves out of it.
“As a group, we’ve got to start taking responsibility for on-the-field issues, doing the little basic things better, and creating our own luck.”