NIGEL WORTHINGTON has warned his underperforming York City stars he won’t stand for a repeat of last weekend’s horror show against AFC Wimbledon when Mansfield Town come to Bootham Crescent tomorrow.
“I never ask the players to do, or give, something they are not able to do,” said the Minstermen boss.
“As long as they give me, the football club and the supporters 100 per cent commitment I can live with that. I can’t live with what I saw last week from a number of players.”
Worthington made his squad sit through the ‘video nasty’ on Monday of the 2-0 Sky Bet League Two loss to the Dons – “we as a staff had to watch it, the supporters had to watch it, so I thought it was only right the players watched it,” he said – and he is demanding huge improvements.
“The main thing we have been focusing on is to make sure we don’t have a repeat of last week,” he added. “It’s pure and simple.
“If we are looking for a model I would like to work off, it would be the Northampton game. That’s a lot of hard work, a lot quality, a lot of commitment, a lot of effort and that needs to be ongoing.
“We can do it. We have proved that and that’s got to be on an ongoing basis. We can’t do it every three or four games.
“We played well for 70 minutes at Bristol Rovers, played well for the duration of the game at Exeter, and got nothing from them so we have got to be more ruthless.
“I won’t be having (a repeat of) last week for a while. I won’t stand for it.”
Of primary concern for Worthington is to cut out the “poor” goals he believes his side are conceding week in and week out.
He explained: “I can go back to Dagenham. Even take the Burnley game. You don’t concede any good goals but there is not a goal that we have conceded where you hold your hands up and say ‘that was good football’.
“Every goal we have conceded up to now has been poor on our behalf and that comes through a lack of focus and desire to not let it happen.
“It’s not just the back four. It is as a team. We have to defend as a team much, much better. The amount of times this season we have been on the attack – like the first goal last week where Ashley Chambers is going up the left, cuts in into the box, gives the ball away, it’s a long ball up and goal.
“You don’t see that in Sunday morning football, and if you do you would be horrified, let alone League football.”
Worthington continued: “If the players are frustrated (about last week’s performance) they can get that out of their head because I don’t have any sympathy for them.
“It’s about working hard, sticking together as a group, and working towards moving forward and getting results.
“That’s not an easy situation because Mansfield will come here and will be big and strong. They will be aggressive and we have got to match that. We have been far too nice.
“We have got to roll our sleeves up, be up for the fight, and go and make sure we do what we are good at.
“We can do it but you look at last week and you take your foot off the pedal and that’s what happens. I suppose it is a little bit like golf. You think you have cracked it and the minute you do you get a slap.
“I honesty feel Northampton was the barometer for me for where we want to be. I think after that game some players, taking their eye off the ball, were thinking ‘good result, good player, don’t need to do it’. Wrong.”
Worthington is hoping to be able to call on striker Wes Fletcher, while David McGurk will be assessed tomorrow.
On Richard Cresswell, he said: “We’ll have a look with the eye situation he has got. We will assess him and do what is right for him.
“If he is happy, he will get involved, if he is not happy we will have to leave it.”