Adam Murray says he won’t be afraid to make changes to his Boston United squad if things don’t swiftly improve on the pitch.
The Pilgrims lost 5-2 at Blyth Spartans yesterday following a 15-minute horror show which saw the side trail 3-0 after sloppy defending from corners.
And the manager had a stark message for his players.
“They’ve had a few warnings. It’s time to shuffle the pack, and if changes are needed then changes are needed,” Murray said.
“We spend a lot of time on set-pieces. It’s gut-wrenching to be honest.
“To go about the first half and hour in the way we did is just not acceptable.”
With a quarter of the season gone, Boston sit 17th in the National League North.
Murray was happy to give his youthful side time to gel, but he says that they must now start to prove they have what it takes to pull on the shirt.
“We’re fragile. The group we’ve got is a young group, but that’s not an excuse,” he added.
“They have to learn that if they want to be footballers and move on in their careers they have to understand this game’s ruthless.
“For people to come in and expect to coast and play in a comfort zone because they’ve had a couple of good results, they’ll get found out.
“If we’d been opened up in the game we’d say ‘fair play’. But it’s three set-pieces which have killed us.
“We’re at a point of the season now where we’ve allowed people to find their feet and allowed people to get an understanding of each other and the team.
“What we can’t allow now is certain individual performances like we’ve seen.”
The manager takes pride in the information given to his squad ahead of every match, including video clips of the opposition.
And Murray was quick to dismiss suggestions his players were overloaded with information.
He said: “If you don’t prepare people properly to go into war then as a leader you’re held accountable for that.
“If the players can’t take the information on board they won’t be here, it’s as simple as that.
“The staff are working too hard to look at ourselves and say ‘we might not show them that or that because they might not take it on board’.
“The things we give them are really simple. If you’re told to mark number six, you mark number six. That’s not that hard.
“The game’s about responsibility, whether you’re playing Sunday morning or the Premier League.
“At this level you get paid to do a job, you don’t just turn up to play with your mates.
“The preparation and work that goes in to prepare the players will be up with anyone in this league.
“If the players can’t take that on board then they don’t deserve to be here.
“If we weren’t prepared and the players weren’t shown what was coming you hold your hands up and say we need to work with this.
“These know in black and white what’s happening, they saw it (video footage) and hour before we got here.
“It’s a case of people fulfilling their roles in the team.
“You can give them time to learn or we make changes and take them out.
“We’re at the stage now stood here saying too many times it’s individual errors. there’s only so much leeway you can give individuals.”