City paying the price for letting star names go - Castle

Manager frustrated by failure to replace star names

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle believes the club is paying the price for not replacing big name players who have been allowed to leave Clarence Park.

The Saints manager says the club’s failure to replace players like Paul Bastock, Ben Martin, Lee Clarke and Paul Hakim is why the club finds itself in its current predicament with relegation from Conference South looking likely.

Castle cut a frustrated figure following City’s 2-0 defeat to fellow relegation battlers Thurrock and the City boss lets his frustrations be known.

“We had players like Paul Bastock, Ben Martin, Paul Hakim, Paul Bruce and Lee Clarke; all great players and slowly but surely they’ve gone and been replaced with college lads from a college standard that is nowhere near this standard,” he said.

“I watch an awful lot of college games. College games are not a good standard and that was my criticism to that lot that played today; that was like watching a college game. I’ve never seen so many mistakes.”

The 44-year-old admitted he is not enjoying life at Clarence Park at present and says anyone would find it hard to cope without adequate resources. Castle has had to deal with a number of budget cuts as well as a 10 point deduction after the FA found the club guilty of financial irregularities and that stress is starting to take its toll.

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“I’m not enjoying it. I’m just looking at my three lovely kids out there, they miss their dad on a Saturday and when I come to training,” explained Castle.

“I put an awful lot of time and effort into this and obviously it’s not been good enough but you need some tools to be able to work with and before today you could look at it and say we had a fighting chance but you can’t have people leave your football club like Paul Bastock and Ben Martin and expect to be competing.

“In regards to my future… I only do it for enjoyment and I want to win games of football. I’ve said on numerous occasions, because it’s been so hard, I doubt if anyone else could do any better but maybe they can.”

City will hope to bounce back tonight (Tuesday) when they welcome Dorchester Town to Clarence Park.

Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Conor Gough has been snapped up on work experience to fill the hole left by Paul Bastock’s departure while City will be hoping to have influential midfielder Ollie Kelly available after the ex-Reading youngster missed Saturday’s game with an ankle injury.

You can keep up to date with all the action from Clarence Park tonight by following our CITYLIVE coverage which will get started around 7.30pm.