City lacked heart and desire - Gray

James Comley gets crowded out. Picture: Leigh Page

James Comley gets crowded out. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

James Gray said he felt let down by his players after seeing them lose to promotion rivals Poole Town at Clarence Park on Saturday.

Ekow Elliot scored the only goal of the game as the Dolphins boosted their play-off chances while St Albans’ took a hit by slipping down to fourth spot in the league.

Speaking to Saintsnet after the game, the joint manager said: “We didn’t deserve anything. We could have been out there another hour and wouldn’t have deserved anything,

“I feel massively let down by the boys. It was unacceptable: we looked flat, looked a yard slower than them and above all else we looked like we lacked desire.

“I don’t want that labelled against me. I try to fire my teams up to go out there and force the issue but too often we got rolled over.”

He added: “Heart and desire is something you can’t give a player. As a group we’ve been found out a few occasions this season and every time it’s the same thing. It’s not ability, we’ve got the ability, it’s purely the heart and desire to get the better of your opponent. If our players get the better of the opposition then nine times out of 10 you win the game. Today too many were off the pace.”

Unlike last week when City had a gameplan to stifle league leaders Hemel Hempstead, which worked as the game ended goalless, Gray said he had removed the shackles ahead of Saturday’s game, the players just failed to deliver.

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“We never passed the ball – that’s not how we set up,” he said.

“We gave the lads freedom to get the ball down and play but they didn’t take instruction. We should have been fresher side – that’s the inquest.

“I’m disappointed with the performance levels, attitude and application because it was a massive game and we tried to get across that it was a cup final. Poole would have been out of it if we’d won and if would have cemented us in the play-offs.

“It would have been harder to catch us but now we have a hell of a job to do.”