MANAGER Paul Smith read the riot act to his Redditch United players after Saturday’s bitterly disappointing 3-1 defeat at St Neots Town and warned repeat performances will not be tolerated as the Reds bid to continue to work their way towards Southern Premier Central safety.
United made a dream start to Saturday’s clash in Cambridgeshire as midfielder Richard Batchelor fired them into a seventh-minute lead, but Nabil Shariff levelled matters just after the half hour mark before second half goals from Dylan Williams and Shariff sent the visitors home empty-handed.
Smith has been more than satisfied with his players’ efforts since he took the reins from Paul Davis but the boss labelled the latest performance as “easily the worst” during his time at the helm and has demanded a response at home to Hertfordshire outfit Royston Town on Saturday.
“We lacked desire and hunger on Saturday and that’s not good enough. Consider the individual mistakes which were made and the fact it was a bang average performance, then it’s no surprise we got nothing which is exactly what we deserved,” said Smith.
“We’ve taken points off some very very good sides in my time here and that’s great, but this time we were nowhere near the level I’ve come to expect. If some players think they’ve made it or don’t have to put the effort in then that won’t be tolerated.
“We’ve been vulnerable at set-pieces lately and that’s something we’ve got to work on, but it’s about taking responsibility all over the pitch and the boys have been told in no uncertain terms that was not good enough.”
Smith’s side sit 17th in the table and four points above the bottom three heading into this weekend’s game as they seek to end a run of four matches without a win in all competitions.
The Reds are also in action in midweek when they visit play-off hopefuls Needham Market in Suffolk on Tuesday.