A SHELL-SHOCKED Simon Davies questioned his players’ honesty and blasted them for “going through the motions” as the Blues kicked-off the new season with a dismal defeat at Dagenham.
The Chester manager also shouldered his share of the blame after watching his team slump to a shocking 6-0 reverse on a grey Saturday afternoon in east London.
“I’m lost for words,” admitted Davies. “I’m so disappointed it’s untrue.”
Chester were outclassed in every department, leading to jeers and chants of “what a load of rubbish” from away supporters.
Davies said: “I just said to the lads to be a bit more honest out there. It’s totally my fault. The way they’ve been playing in pre-season games and in training, it’s just shocked me.
“I’ve seen a million good training players in my time and it looked like we had about eight or nine out there who don’t want to do it in games, so it’s back to the drawing board.”
Paul Linwood was named in Chester’s side despite suffering with a back injury, but the influential captain aggravated the problem in the warm-up and had to pull out.
His replacement, 18-year-old Kevin Roberts, struggled alongside veteran Paul Butler as Dagenham launched a succession of high balls upfield to tall strikers Ben Strevens and Paul Benson.
Davies said: “Their two lads up front are as good as you’re going to see in this division. They overpowered us.
“We lacked a bit of height and it was an issue, but it was nothing we couldn’t have overcome if we had stuck together. “If we would have had 11 out there being honest and not just going through the motions, we’d have been OK. But we only had about five who were doing what I asked. You can’t afford that at any level.”
French debutant Damien Mozika was one of the few players who Davies spared from criticism.
“I thought Damien was the best player on the pitch and I feel for people like him,” said the Chester boss.
Davies is still hoping to add former Manchester United, Crewe Alex and Bradford City player Eddie Johnson to his squad. The Chester-born striker/midfielder could become a City player later this week.
The Blues, meanwhile, have been given a bye through to round two of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The draw for round one takes place on Saturday.