Boss Graham Westley missed talking to the waiting media on Saturday evening after a long dressing room discussion with his players. But he was quick to air his views on Sunday.
“Our current squad is a mixture of lads I inherited and lads I have brought in. It is a work in progress but some of the work is going to take time to complete because contracts exist. I am happy for any contracted player to stay here long term if that is what he wants. But I certainly won't renew contracts with players who deliver poor results.
“Our early season form was excusable; we were learning. Our recent 3 game unbeaten run was positive; it suggested improvement. Our League Cup form was really strong and encouraging. But our last two performances and results have been frighteningly short of the mark. The development that the squad was showing has stopped; the appetite that the squad was showing has dried up; the leaders in the squad have dropped their standards and the squad has followed suit.
“I am going to point at 3 things.
“Winning a big home game against Ipswich is one thing. Finding the same motivation to beat Carlisle is what consistency is about. Consistency is at the heart of winning. You get nowhere lifting standards now and then.
“Maybe our young players are finding the step up a tough one; physically, tactically and mentally. Well that needs to change. They need to face the situation head on now. And they need to get over that and impose their strengths.
“And maybe there is a lack of personal responsibility being taken by players for their own and each others performances; on the pitch, with the shirt on their back, they have the chance to be better than their opponent. That choice is one that they make on the day every time we play”.
Westley was in no mood to beat about the bush, continuing, “I felt humiliated on Saturday. I took great strength from the fortress that The Lamex Stadium became during my previous time here. And I will make our home a fortress again. I want players who share that determination to wear our shirt. Nobody else.
“It is up to us to entertain our fans by playing good and winning football. We have no value if we can't do that. Our fans work hard to earn their money; they expect to see players giving blood and sweat in return for the entrance fee. It is not a God-given right to be paid to be a footballer. It is up to every player to earn his money just as a delivery driver gets up early and makes his drops so that he can be paid. I take my responsibility to make sure that the fans get their pound of flesh very seriously”.
Only those who know Graham Westley well will truly understand how much he is hurting this Sunday morning but the determination to sort things out boomed out as he said, “Let nobody be in any doubt that Stevenage Football Club will face its current situation head on. I do not shy away from facts, neither does the Club. We have come a long way in recent seasons by working out the answer and by doing something about it. We will relentlessly chip losing out and relentlessly add winning to our mix. The people of Stevenage can absolutely depend on that. Our fans were brilliant on Saturday; I asked them to stay with the team and they did. I will make sure that they get winning football onto our pitch again; believe me. 7th from bottom is not acceptable; not to anybody here, and that includes the players. They will show that”.