PREVIEW: Gray urges St Albans City response in front of home fans

Ian Gayle rises the highest to head clear. Picture: Leigh Page

Ian Gayle rises the highest to head clear. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City joint manager James Gray has challenged his squad to respond to Tuesday’s loss with a good performance in front of the home fans against Bath City.

The Saints were beaten 1-0 by Eastbourne Borough in midweek after an inept display on the south coast. The side lacked quality all over the pitch but especially in the final third and never really threatened Lewis Carey, Borough’s goalkeeper.

The result saw City slip to second from bottom in the league. They’re above Weston-super-Mare, the only team in the league yet to register any points.

Bath are top of the league, three points ahead of the only other team that has a 100 per cent record so far, Ebbsfleet United.

“We need to try to turn it around and quick, and at Clarence Park where home fans can try to get behind us. We need to put it right and get three points. We need it,” he said.

A win on Saturday will go a long way to lifting the mood surrounding the club following Tuesday’s loss. After three defeats to potential play-off teams, Eastbourne was seen as a real opportunity to kick-on. Instead, it felt like the team took a step back.

“Nothing less than three points was good enough [at Eastbourne] and the players have let themselves, us and the fans down,” said Gray.

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Part of Gray’s frustration stems from having to dictate the entire game from the sideline due to a lack of obvious leaders.

“I feel like I have to run the game from the sideline at the moment. I told them what I wanted them to do but once we send them over the line, what can we do? I’d love to have players geeing each other up,” he said.

“We’re under the cosh and need some leaders. We have some in Lee Chappell, James Comley and Benny Martin but we need to see it.”

He added: “We can’t be too down; we’ve got to find a way to get better and when we do I’m sure we’ll be fine but it’s tough.”