Burgess Hill Town manager Ian Chapman has sent out a stark warning to his players.
His side were hammered 5-2 on Tuesday night at Brightlingsea, a result and performance which infuriated the boss.
The Hillians conceded inside 30 seconds, then twice more either side of half-time.
It was a game Chapman was targeting a win from, but he felt the players were not switched on and he warned if players weren’t with him 100%, they can play somewhere else.
He said: “We are telling players we can win these games but the players are not switched on to it. Are they thinking ‘we have just got to turn up and we win’? I have to look at it. No-one gives you anything in football. You have got to go and get it and we ain’t doing that at the moment.
“I have been here a long time, I have led the club up to this league and I’m the man to take the club forward.
“I am not angry, I am realistic. I need people to be with us 100% and to do the right things, or they can play for someone else because I am not accepting it.
“I work my heart out to make this club better and so do my staff. We do everything right, there’s no reason why we put in the performance we did.”
But Chapman was quick to add: There is no crisis. They are 20th in the table but two wins against next opponents Thurrock (Saturday) and Needham Market (Tuesday) could see them rise to 11th in the table – depending on other results.
“I don’t want people to think we are in a crisis because we are not. In 17 games we have had four stuffings.
“I can accept it at Billericay but the other three sides that have stuffed us, we’ve had a 5-2, and 5-0 and 4-1, we shouldn’t be getting beat by teams like that.
“There’s a way of losing matches. We will lose games at times because we do not have the financial backing other sides have but I expect us to always be giving 100% and make games tight.”
Chapman also says he must take the blame for the conceding five on Tuesday night. This followed last midweek when they let in four.
He said: “I was a defender and I look at myself and I take the blame for that. I must get on that training pitch and I must sort it out.
“I made my living as a pro for a long and I was a defender. We are making the most basic mistakes and we have to get back to basics.
“We need to defend our goal. We massively need a clean sheet so we can start again.”
Chapman also said he might have to cut ties with some players. He added: “I need to have honest conversations with people because what I can’t have is people that are really important to my football club, to my team, playing 25% of the season.
“At the moment, if things don’t go the way we want, we might have to cut ties with certain players and go in a different direction because I can’t keep mollycoddling people people.
“As footballers they are decent but if I can’t get them on the pitch it ties up my budget and it makes it really hard.”
Chapman is expecting Gary Elphick to be fit after he went off on Tuesday night with a hip injury.
Sam Fisk was unavaiable Tuesday but should be okay for Thurrock.