LOWESTOFT FC: Chapman's call to players
MICKY Chapman has demanded his Lowestoft Town players 'stand up and be counted' as they look to overcome a worrying dip in form. Ahead of last night's trip to Tilbury, the Ryman League Division One North leaders had lost two of their previous three games, including a 2-1 defeat at home to Brentwood Town on Tuesday.
MICKY Chapman has demanded his Lowestoft Town players 'stand up and be counted' as they look to overcome a worrying dip in form.
Ahead of last night's trip to Tilbury, the Ryman League Division One North leaders had lost two of their previous three games, including a 2-1 defeat at home to Brentwood Town on Tuesday.
Travelling down to Essex they led the table by two points from Concord Rangers with three games still in hand.
But despite their position, joint boss Chapman says his squad need to look at themselves and rediscover their early season form quickly so all their hard work does not go to waste.
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'It's not good pointing fingers at referees and officials looking for excuses, the time has come where we need to stand up and be counted,' he said.
'The time has come where we need to look at ourselves and take responsibility. All of us.
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'I don't just mean the players, I mean me, Ady (Gallagher), Flem (Craig Fleming) and Dave (Carolan) too. We all look at ourselves and will continue to do so and we all back these boys to the hilt, 100 percent.
'We haven't lost any faith in them, but at the end of the day they've taken their fingers off the pulse and they've got to take some responsibility as well.
'They need to know that and they do know it.
'All season we've had pats on the back and everything going for us and all of a sudden fingers are being pointed and questions are being asked and we've got to be big enough and have the character now to answer those questions.
'We haven't lost any belief. We know what we've got in our dressing room, we know what we've got in our squad but we've got to stand up and be counted.'
Chapman also wanted to reinforce the message to his players that Town are now targets for all the other teams in the division.
Talk of the Blues' demise is premature, but the chat amongst clubs around the league claims they are wobbling, although Chapman insists it is just a 'blip'.
'We've got to accept any criticism that been thrown at us because we've hit a blip,' he said.
'It's just a blip as far as we're concerned. We've got to learn to start games better. We've got to learn to be consistent from the first whistle, game after game after game, because everybody wants some of Lowestoft.
'When you're sitting top of the table, teams want to knock you off your perch. I've said it before and the players have got to get it into their heads, that we're a target.
'You look at the reaction of Brentwood after the final whistle - you'd have thought they'd won the World Cup. You look at the reaction of Ware the other week, the reaction of Concord.
'We've got to accept that and make sure we get some of the consistency back into our game.
'We've got 13 games left and we're still in a very good position.
'They boys have got us there and have deservedly had lots of praise but now they've got to be big enough and show the character we know they've got and finish the job we've started.'