CHESTER CITY manager Keith Curle branded his side's performance as "gutless" following their disappointing 3-1 reversal at Shrewsbury Town.
City still remain in fifth place in Coca Cola League Two, but Curle will be pleased to see the end of the month of October, which has seen his side record only one victory from six competitive matches.
Chester's downfall on Saturday was basically some woeful defending that gifted the Shrews their trio of goals and, like the performance against Bury seven days earlier, the buzz and enthusiasm that was prevalent in the early season games was again missing.
Curle was so incensed by the performance of his team that he ordered his players in for extra training yesterday.
"It was a gutless performance and I want players to wear their hearts on their sleeves," he said. "Players didn't earn the right to wear the shirt today and that's going to stop."
The former England and Manchester City defender continued: "Everything they get, they earn and you have to earn days off. I don't have days off. I work 24-7 and I'm not worried about my image.
"I'm not worried about what my hair looks like or whether my kit looks nice. I want to win football matches and I will surround myself with people of the same vein; nothing else will do."
Chester were always chasing the game after conceding two goals in the opening eight minutes. They went behind after just 34 seconds when some dreadful marking allowed Mark Stallard to head across the face of the City goal to Colin McMenamin, who scored from close range.
Worse was to come seven minutes later. Central defender Dave Artell made an almighty hash of an attempted back pass, Stallard took advantage and had a simple job to score with a low effort past the exposed Mackenzie in the Chester goal.
The visitors got back into the game 10 minutes before the break. Former Shrewsbury player Ryan Lowe curled a delightful free-kick around the defensive wall and into the net.
Chester's cause wasn't helped four minutes into the second period when Vaughan appeared to be elbowed by McMenamin. The City youngster left the pitch with blood pouring from a facial wound and McMenamin was fortunate not to receive a red card. The match was finished as a contest when further defensive lethargy allowed Kevin Langmead a free run on goal after 58 minutes.
Chester have a chance to return to winning ways next Saturday when they face non-league Folkestone Invincta in the first round of the FA Cup at the Deva Stadium. However if the defensive sloppiness isn't eradicated, then a potential shock could be on the cards.
"There will be changes to the team for next week, I can guarantee it. I only want players playing for this club who put everything into it," reflected Curle..
SHREWSBURY TOWN: Hart, Herd, Whitehead, Hope, Ashton, Tolley, Sorvel (Edwards 33), Smith, Jackson (Hogg 73), McMenamin, Stallard (Langmead 31). Subs: Cowan, Thompson.
CHESTER CITY: Mackenzie, McNiven, Artell, Dimech, Hessey, Vaughan (Walker 49), Davies, Dove (Richardson 60), Curtis, Branch, Lowe. Subs: Bolland, Curle, El Kholti.
REFEREE: Clive Oliver (Northumberland).