Chester FC midfielder Elliott Durrell says it is the players that should be taking the blame for their abysmal run of form, not the manager.
The miserable 5-2 loss at Sutton United on Saturday was Chester’s 15th defeat in 20 National League games and increased the pressure on boss Jon McCarthy.
The result was enough to all but secure safety for the Blues unless a nine-goal swing occurs on the final day. But that was little consolation to some supporters, especially those who made the trip to long trip south to Gander Green Lane to witness what was a truly woeful display.
But Durrell, one of the few players to emerge with any credit from Saturday’s horror show, has leaped to the defence of the manager but admitted that the form post Christmas has simply not been good enough.
“He puts us out there every single week on the pitch, he has a trust and belief in that player and before Christmas we had the belief in every single one of us,” said Durrell.
“This hasn’t been good enough and it’s within the changing room. The gaffer is exempt from it, he is on the sidelines and when we cross that white line it’s down to us. We are accountable for everything that has happened in the second half of the season.
“I don’t know if it is a lack of confidence. We just want to put this right and I’ve said it before, we know what we are capable of. We deserved something from Lincoln and have come here today and just let ourselves down. We didn’t even give ourselves a mountain to climb, it was a monstrous task.
“It’s no excuse. We’re professional footballers and we have to go out there and do the job and there is no getting away from the fact that we have not been good enough, 5-2 is not good enough.”
After the final whistle Durrell and Tom Shaw shook hands with travelling fans and spoke to them, listening to their concerns. And the midfielder says that they have a right to be unhappy with how the season has panned out.
He said: “The fans have been great all season. Football is a tough game and we were on the crest of a wave at Christmas time on the back of that 2-0 win at home to Aldershot. The fans were cheering and we were cheering but people pay their money and it’s important that we acknowledge that.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve heard a boo. They are entitled to boo and it’s probably warranted but as a club we have to stick together. We don’t point fingers, the gaffer doesn’t point fingers and we certainly don’t point fingers at him. He certainly won’t point fingers at us. We are just gagging to put it right.”
Chester host Boreham Wood at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on Saturday (12.15pm) for the final game of the National League season.