Gary McCann was critical of his team's showing against East Thurrock United last night. He said, "I was very disappointed to lose the game, especially so late in the contest. I thought we didn't deserve to lose, but anything more than a draw would have felt a little unjust.
"It is always a kick in the teeth to lose to a late goal, but some defeats can be a wake-up call and I hope this will be one of them.
"I was very critical of the boys in the dressing room at half-time. East Thurrock were better than us all over the pitch. Too many of our players under-performed.
"It took us half an hour to come to terms with the pitch, but we were much better when we equalised and in the second half. The winning goal was the result of terrible defending and I have not said that much this season.
"I am not going to use this as an excuse for the defeat, but this observation played its part. We were victims of the Farnborough situation. I don't blame East Thurrock at all, but they sat at home on Saturday without a game while we had a long trip to Needham Market, then played on a baking hot day.
"Some of the players left home at 9.00 on Saturday morning and didn't get back until 9.00 in the evening, then they had one day's rest before going off to work, then straight to football. This was one of the reasons I decided to re-energise the team after Saturday's demanding game and East Thurrock's enforced rest.
"Also the difference in the two pitches was massive. On Saturday, it was slow, thick and very lush; at Earlsmead, because of all the rain, the pitch was lightning quick, and the surface was greasy and slippery. Too many players lost their footing, but this was also due to the footwear they chose to use.
"We now require a positive reaction from the team."