Castle determined not to let season tail off
PUBLISHED: 15:56 23 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 06 May 2010
CITY boss Steve Castle is determined not to let this season tail off and has warned his players that they face being dropped if their level of performance drops. Castle was annoyed with Saturday s 1-1 draw with Newport County saying that half a dozen of h
CITY boss Steve Castle is determined not to let this season tail off and has warned his players that they face being dropped if their level of performance drops.
Castle was annoyed with Saturday's 1-1 draw with Newport County saying that half a dozen of his players didn't perform to the level required.
"They're a good bunch of honest lads but I can't really defend them after such a poor performance. It did look like everybody wanted to get the sun cream out. Yes the teams in the playoffs are realistically unobtainable but these lads have got to secure contracts next year, they've got to make sure they're playing first team football next year with St Albans City Football Club or elsewhere. They certainly won't be doing themselves any favours if they just want to peter the season out and I won't let it happen and I'll drop them and have young kids coming in that want to play. There was half a dozen there that weren't up for the fight and it was disappointing because these same lads have set their standards over the last half a dozen games and those standards have been very high but that was disappointing today" said a frustrated Castle.
"I've got no complaints with the scoreline regardless of penalties going in; but really we're probably lucky to have a point. I'm disappointed with the lads and I've told them so. They've set themselves standards now over the last half a dozen games or so that they didn't live up to today."
City's run of five consecutive clean sheets was bought to an end on Saturday and it always looked likely to happen with the defence looking incredibly hesitant.
"I'm scratching my head why [they were hesitant]. With all due respect we all know what these lads are capable of because we're there week in week out and we're seeing them playing against arguably the best strikers in the league in the lads at AFC Wimbledon and competing very well and never letting the ball bounce and that didn't happen today.
"The [Newport] lads weren't bad up top but we've given them far too much respect and it's been a disappointing day at the office to be honest."
One player who certainly did his chances no harm was Lee Butcher who starred in the second half with a string of excellent saves, including a 49th minute penalty save from Danny Rose.
With Paul Bastock intending to return to action next weekend Castle now faces a real dilemma though Castle has stated that Butcher remains in the driving seat.
"If it wasn't for him [Butcher] we wouldn't even have a point on the board. He had no chance with the goal, the penalty was absolutely fantastic and then one just after that was a superb save. He's more than justified his reckoning in front of Paul Bastock - that's a dilemma really because Paul's top draw himself but the lad has warranted staying in the team."
City return to action tomorrow when Dorchester Town visit Clarence Park for a rearranged game and Castle says it's a great opportunity to bounce back from their disappointment.
"I'm disappointed with them at the end of the day but we've got to bounce back and there's no better thing than to have a midweek game, at home against a lower team. We've just got to try and win every single game and if that means we're just outside the playoffs and we get above two or three teams above the position we are in at the minute then I wouldn't say that's a success but we will be pleased not to have let this season peter out, there's no reason for it, and that might be a catalyst to push on for next season. It will be disappointing if we do and I'll be doing my utmost to make sure that we don't let this season go out with a whimper and make sure we get some wins on the board and some good performances on the board too.