26th Feb, 2018

Shape up or ship out says Long

Liam Moakes 12th Oct, 2017

IAN Long warned his Alvechurch players are playing for their futures after labelling their midweek defeat at Corby Town as ‘awful, awful, awful’.

The Church manager accused his players of having a ‘soft underbelly’ and questioning their mental strength to cope with setbacks.

Long was far from happy with Saturday’s 2-1 FA Trophy win at Belper Town but, thanks to goals from Danny Dubidat and Tom Turton, they booked a first qualifying round trip to Cambridge City on October 28.

However, they slipped to a 3-1 reverse at Corby – their third Evo-Stik Northern Premier South loss – with Dubidat again on target with an 85th-minute consolation effort.

Long said there will be no knee-jerk reactions in selection for the home game against Chasetown on Saturday but he has told the players they need to step up.

“Certain players are looking to try to blame others when it is their mistakes that are costing us. There’s a lack of taking responsibility and a mental weakness at the moment and that’s not acceptable,” said Long.

“I’ve reminded the players that last season we had a poor start, then we got rid of four or five players and turned it around. I’m not afraid to get rid of players if they are not performing.

“On Wednesday, we started the better but once they scored we just disappeared. There’s a soft underbelly at the moment. Too many want to shift the blame. That has to change and if it doesn’t I will change the players.”

After the Chasetown contest, Church visit Stourbridge on Monday night in a League Cup first round tie.

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