Boss lays it on the line and looks for a response

Banbury United manager Mike Ford NNL-180225-081430009
Banbury United manager Mike Ford NNL-180225-081430009

Banbury United manager Mike Ford has laid it on the line to his players.

The Puritans boss knows the pressure is growing to turn around a poor run and has issued a warning to his squad to improve or risk being out.

I don’t want find myself making rash decisions just to keep my job, I simply won’t do that

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford said: “I don’t want to find myself making rash decisions just to keep my job, I simply won’t do that. But if we keep losing games people are going to question my judgement.

“I don’t want to bring the wrong players into this club if they’re not better than what we’ve got. But I told the players in training on Tuesday that most positions in the team are up for grabs.

“We lack the ability to overcome setbacks, I can’t recall us winning a game from behind for a long time, definitely not this season.

“The players have worked hard in every game but we haven’t got the nous to come through tough times and out the other side of it.

“I’ve been very good with this group of players but I’m not sure I’m getting enough back from them for my loyalty. I can’t keep picking players hoping they are going to get it right.

“Your team epitomises you as a manager and how you were as a player. I was committed and hating losing games, I did everything I could to make sure we won games.

“Some players, unintentionally, are feeling a bit sorry for themselves. But I’ve got to work out who is value for money so some players have got to liven-up or they could be out the side.”

United have lost their last three Evo-Stik League South games but showed in one of those defeats – against Royston Town – the characteristics Ford is looking for.

He added: “We’ve produced some performances which have been good enough to get points but we’ve not been able to keep clean sheets to get them.

“Earlier in the season, we weren’t playing that well but picked up results through our resilience. In the last three games we’ve tried to be better on the ball again but when the game goes against you, you have to show courage on the ball.

“Our responsibility to the supporters is to give them something to cheer, like we did against Royston. Even though we lost, the fans saw a committed performance and some good football.”