Frustrated Holbeach United manager Seb Hayes admits that he and his inconsistent players are stuck with each other until the end of the season.
The Tigers chief believes that his talented squad have the ability to beat any ChromaSport UCL Premier Division team on their day – but also feels they’re capable of being bad enough to lose to sides two levels lower than them.
Hayes was speaking after Holbeach’s woeful 3-0 reverse at mid-table Wellingbough Town on Saturday, with the former Huntingdon Town and Peterborough Northern Star chief worried by the lack of effort and commitment shown by his side.
Openly proud to have been given the Carter’s Park position, Hayes feels that there is “no more he can do” to motivate a ninth-placed side that essentially has nothing to play for with nine games left this season.
He wants to see his charges push on and finish as high as they can in the table, with a view to adding a few new faces in the summer and building on some positive momentum.
But Hayes is now concerned that he may not even be given the chance to build his own side this summer, given the disastrous performances he’s been associated with in recent months.
Five wins from ten league games is a reasonable return for him, but he accepts that some of the defeats – added to disappointing cup quarter-final exits against struggling Boston Town and Division One outfit Olney Town – have been unacceptable.
And, with no way of making meaningful transfers before this month’s deadline, Hayes is concerned that more of the same will follow in the Tigers’ remaining fixtures.
“I want to see spirit, desire and pride from this group,” said the Tigers chief. “But will I get it between now and the end of the season?
“Sadly, I don’t think I will. We keep training and saying the right things, but motivating the group is proving very difficult at this stage of the season.
“Holbeach is a top club and the squad is full of players that have won league titles and cups. When they think that there is nothing to play for, life becomes tough.
“I don’t see it that way and can’t accept it. I want to lay down foundations here and build something over a long period of time. That starts now, with identifying who wants to be a part of that process.
“It’s a good dressing room here. Contrary to what people may believe, there are no cliques and there are no bad eggs.
“They are very honest too, and they’ve admitted that they are being outworked by other sides.
“What can I do to change that mentality? I can’t really add to the squad at this stage of the season, so we’re all stuck with each other.
“I want to build momentum and hit the ground running next season, but if we continue to be this inconsistent and get such bad results, the club may decide they’ve had enough of me. We’ve been absolutely terrible at times and
I’m not distancing myself from that. But I need their help in turning things around.
“If we’re in the mood, we can beat anyone. If not, we’re so bad that teams from two leagues below us would easily beat us.”
This Saturday sees Holbeach welcome 13th-placed ON Chenecks to Carter’s Park (3pm). They beat the same opposition 4-0 in Hayes’ first game in charge, so the boss sees it as a good indicator of where the team is currently at.
They’ll have to do without a host of key players, though. Top scorer Josh Ford (groin) has joined Dan Jenkins (knee) on the long-term injury list, while Tommy Treacher and Ollie Pinner are also a major doubts.