LEE Canoville has blasted his Boston United squad and vowed to iron out the poor form following last night’s defeat to Bishop’s Stortford.
After watching his Pilgrims slump to a 2-0 defeat against Blue Square Bet North strugglers, the joint player-boss gave his most candid interview since taking over as manager.
In a 10-minute interview with the press, he spoke openly, honestly and passionately while also labelling the performance ‘embarrassing’.
He also promised to make each member of his squad sit through the match DVD, so they could ‘see what the fans see’.
The former Arsenal trainee and Torquay United defender also refused to rule out making changes to the squad as he wants to ‘separate the men from the boys’.
Here, The Standard brings you Canoville’s thoughts...
ON THE 2-0 DEFEAT TO BISHOP’S STORTFORD:
“We’re very upset about the manner of the game and how it went.
“I don’t usually come out and criticise my players as I’m a big believer in sticking together, but there’s no excuse for that performance.
“I’m very, very disappointed, and obviously the lads in there know they didn’t perform.
“It’s not good enough and we’ve said that to the lads.”
ON ATTITUDES IN THE DRESSING ROOM:
“At the end of the day, it’s fine doing all the talking at the start and at half time.
“But if you can’t then transfer that into action then don’t speak. Just go and just do your job.
ON SLOW STARTS:
“We started poorly in the first half and also the second half. They’ve punished us and got the goal.
“It’s not good enough. We need to get in front and start punishing teams.
“It’s happened in the last few weeks. We’ve gone behind and had to claw ourselves back.
“To be a team wanting to push on (up the table), that’s not good enough.
“We seem to lack confidence if we don’t start well, and slowly decrease in our performance.”
ON THE RECENT RUN OF FORM:
“We were (looking for four wins).
“Every game is different, but when you look back at the four games we’ve had (a victory and draw against Eastwood, a draw with Blyth Spartans and defeat to Stortford – all of whom are in or around the relegation zone) then it’s not been what we wanted.
“We had a win and two draws which, on paper, doesn’t look that bad.
“It’s not disastrous, be we know they’re games we should be winning.
“It’s very disappointing we’ve only got one win from the four.”
ON THE PLAYERS:
“The lads, we’ve told them, they’re playing for their futures at the end of the day.
“They have to buck their ideas up very, very quickly. Me and Jason (Lee, joint manager) are not going to stand for mediocrity.
“We’re young managers who want to push forward and we want to make sure we have players who want to do that as well.
“At the minute, there are lads who are not showing it and we have to see what happens.
“I think, at the minute, it looks like they’re lacking confidence.
“I don’t know why. I know they have a few moans about the comments they hear (from the crowd), but that’s not good enough.
“I’ve played myself and I know what happens out there. You have to deal with that.
“If you want to move up the leagues then you’re going to hear a lot worse. You’ll have a few more fans - several thousand – doing it as well.
“I don’t care what happens outside the white lines. The players, on the pitch, have to be mentally strong and deal with what happens.”
ON THE FUTURE:
“It’s a results business. Players are here to win games. We’re here to win games.
“That hasn’t happened, the table doesn’t lie.
“We’ve built a squad and we feel we’re getting better.
“The last performances haven’t been disastrous, but tonight was probably the worse we’ve played.
“You can have an off day, but 11 players haven’t turned up and that’s embarrassing.
“They have to sort that quickly.
“Football’s a funny game. We have confidence in them, but sometimes players can’t rise to that challenge and you have to look elsewhere.”
ON MAKING THE SQUAD WATCH THE MATCH DVD:
“I’m getting DVDs of this game - and they’re all going to watch it.
“I want them to see what I was seeing and what the fans were seeing.
“Sometimes it doesn’t make players play instantly well. But it does buck their ideas up and make them sure they wont drop to that level again.
“That’s what needs to happen very quickly.
“It had a positive effect after Altrincham (where the players watched the match DVD following a 6-1 defeat).
“We don’t get a lot of time in training with the lads after a midweek game before the weekend.
“We need to work on things and make sure the lads get their legs going.
“But we’ll make sure everyone gets a copy of the match and they’ll watch it at home - even if I have to ask them questions about it to make sure they’ve watched it.
“Its’ so important. At a full time club you’d do that on a Monday morning.
“At the successful clubs I’ve been at we’ve done that. It’s not a nice thing to do, but they need to learn.
“We try to run the club as professionally as possible. If it makes 80 per cent of the team buck their ideas up then its a positive thing.”
ON SATURDAY’S FA TROPHY MATCH AT DARTFORD:
“Dartford are a strong side. But we watched them against Welling and haven’t seen anything that’s a major concern?
“They’ll be confident as they’re on a good run. But I’d have liked another league game to come tomorrow to be honest.
“As a player you want to bounce back and as a manager you don’t want to be dwelling too long.
“Whatever happens on Saturday, you want an opportunity to bounce back in the league as soon as you can.
“It’s going to hurt massively (until then) and we have to wait.
“We’ll go to Saturday and do our best to win the game.
“We have to make sure the next league game is much, much better. The lads should be itching to put it right.”
ON THE PLATERS’ REACTION:
“Me and Jason still play and know what happens in dressing rooms.
“They don’t talk to us as much as they used to, but we hear things and you can tell how people are by body actions.
“They’ve had a hammering from us and we want to see the ones who are men and step up to the challenge. It’s separating men from boys.
“This is when you find out who’s strong – not when things are going well for you.
“This is when you have to be strong, be a leader and step up.
“I’m sure we’ll see that on Saturday.”