Stuart Reavell has launched a scathing verbal attack on his Debenham LC players after they were hammered 7-0 by local rivals Diss Town on Tuesday.
The hosts shipped four goals within the opening 30 minutes, before eventually succumbing to the heaviest defeat of Reavell’s tenure.
It caused the manager to hold a 70-minute impromptu meeting with the squad, during which they were informed in no uncertain terms that performances of late have not been acceptable.
“It was incredibly disappointing and totally unacceptable. I’m not used to that at all and I don’t want to have to get used to it either,” said Reavell.
“I locked them in the dressing room for one hour and 10 minutes after the game. I did that because we haven’t played well for a while. We’ve picked up points, but the performances have been poor.
“It was an embarrassment. It was like the ball was a different shape, almost as if it was a rugby ball. We couldn’t pass the ball five yards.
“We have a small squad and complacency has crept in. They are too comfortable. Bad games don’t matter because they know that they will be back in the team for the next game. That’s completely the wrong attitude and one I will not accept any more.
“Some of those players need to man up and grow some balls. It’s got to happen quickly as well.
“We’ve got 12 games left and you don’t want to go on a losing run now.
“The rest of this season should be about building a platform for next year.
“I’m quite happy to be critical because they’ve let the club, fans and the management team down. I won’t shy away when I make a mistake. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that. But, this time they should be holding their hands up.”
With one victory from their last six outings, Debenham find themselves 13th in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division table ahead of a trip to in-form Cornard United (3pm).
And rather than target the three points at Blackhouse Lane, Reavell has challenged his side to show an improvement in terms of attitude and commitment.
“I don’t mind if we lose. What I don’t want is them serving up dog muck again,” he added.
“I’m looking at the performance and attitude of the players. If we can get a result, that will be a bonus.”