FURIOUS Andy Stanhope kept his squad on the pitch for 15 minutes after Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat to Leek Town.
The Tulips boss was animated as his players were told in no uncertain terms that the effort and application was way short of what he expects.
Stanhope was fully committed as a player and he’s adamant he won’t accept anything less than the same from from his squad – even if they are heading for a humiliating points total and relegation.
The manager was still fuming yesterday when he said: “They let their heads go down, and let themselves and the club down. There is not enough pride.
“Yes, the results are bad but that doesn’t prevent anyone working hard.”
And Stanhope insisted that the squad had accepted his rant at the end a bit too well.
“Sometimes you want somebody to bite back and show they care.”
It was another horrible day at the office for ‘Stan’, whose game plan was thrown out of the window when skipper and centre-half Gary Pawson went down awkwardly after just three minutes.
His season is almost certainly over if, as expected, it’s confirmed that he has lateral knee ligament damage. He has his fingers crossed that, when the swelling has subsided, it will be diagnosed as a strain rather than snap.
The injury meant Stanhope had to switch Alistair Holding – who had impressed up front recently – from a striking role to defence.
Meanwhile, there was surprise action for Spalding ref Phil Hayes, who was watching the game. He took up the yellow flag when ref Howard Rowbotham picked up an injury.
As far as the action was concerned, lively forward Jammal Shahin was arguably the Tulips’ brightest light.
But once opening scorer Leigh Skellern had returned strike partner Anthony Malbon’s favour by setting him up to make it 2-0 soon after the break, it was all downhill for the blues.
Malbon went on to grab a terrific hat-trick, the third an outstanding chip over a defender, control and tidy finish reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne’s Euro 96 goal against Scotland.
Tulips: Cook, Chappell (D’Oliveira), Lyon, Thompson, Pawson (Kennedy), Baker, Carrithers, Warner, Holding (Outram), Shahin, Nodder. Unused sub: Self