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Knights boss: ‘We got what we deserved... nothing’
GARY THORNTON pulled no punches after seeing his York City Knights side crash 34-0 at previously win-less Keighley – slating their performance as unacceptable and embarrassing.
Thornton was quick to give the players “a piece of his mind” in the changing room after the match before leaving them to their own thoughts and heading out early to speak to the press.
He admitted being bewildered by the drop in standards following their 48-6 win over Workington only seven days earlier, but demanded they improve their awful away form in time for next weekend’s trip to Doncaster.
“I can’t get my head round that. It was awful and we got exactly what we deserved – nothing,” he said.
“It was an unrecognisable side to the team that played so well at home last week.
“I was embarrassed by a lot of what we did and I’ve said that to the players. I’ve made my feelings known to the players. They need to have a long, hard look at what they’ve put out, and if we don’t get a massive improvement we’re going to be in trouble.
“It’s not acceptable at all. It was flat from the word go. We’ve been out-enthused and that should never happen in any game in any sport.
“Keighley ran onto the ball harder, bust tackles harder. Maybe because they hadn’t won a game some of our players thought all we had to do was turn up. But you have to earn the right to win a game.
“Keighley have been getting beaten but they’ve not been playing badly.
“I’m thoroughly disappointed and I hope the players are as embarrassed and disappointed as I am. I’m gutted by it, to be honest.
“I don’t know any individual who can hold their hand up and say they played well.
“The play-the-balls were slow, we were going up in ones, the pivots created nothing, and Keighley bashed us. When we did make a break, we didn’t get enough numbers to finish anything off.”
The Knights, with one point from four away games compared to seven from three at home, dropped back to 11th in the table.
“I will give them all the plaudits when they deserve them when they play well. But by the same token if you perform like that you’ve got to be able to take the criticism,” added Thornton.
“If we don’t start to play well week in, week out, people will think we’re hot and cold or that we only play at home. I want to be a top-eight contender, not scrapping for survival – that’s not what we’re about.”