Clock is ticking to show you're good enough, warns Bristol Rovers boss
BRISTOL Rovers manager Mark McGhee has warned some of his players that they are running out of time to prove that they are good enough to be part of his longer-term plans.
McGhee was left 'frustrated' after his side suffered their second defeat on the bounce after going down 1-0 at Accrington Stanley and offered his troops some home truths in a 25-minute post-match changing room inquest at the Crown Ground on Saturday.
When the manager finally emerged to conduct his post-match press briefing, he revealed that 'three or four' of his players had been told in no uncertain terms that their performances had not been good enough and warned that 'change' was on the horizon unless there was significant improvement in the coming weeks.
He said: "I felt we were well-beaten and I have absolutely no complaints about the result whatsoever because we simply failed to get in to the game in any way at all.
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"I felt the result was coming and if it hadn't been for our goalkeeper it could have been three, four or five. There were three or four players in particular who were very below par and you have to realise that you can't come anywhere in this league and get a result without eleven players who are all flat out.
"I'm frustrated because I know that we are better than we have showed in the last couple of games. My frustration will manifest itself in change. When I have the opportunity to put other players in those people who are not performing will be out of the side and they'll have to live with that.
"I can't do anything about that until I have the bodies available, but it keeps me determined to change the squad around in order to cope when we have a few injuries in the longer-term. Change is inevitable means that some players will not have a future at the club, so that is not a dramatic statement, it's a fact of life. There is always a cull as time goes on with players running out of contract and that type of thing.
"There will be change and the ones that are going to be vulnerable are those who can't perform in situations like this."
McGhee at least welcomed Scotland international striker Derek Riordan back after three-game absence and will also have defender Tom Parkes available again when Sheffield United visit the Memorial Stadium in the FA Cup on Saturday.
"We are a depleted squad so it was good to have Riordan back and I think he will have an effect on the team," said McGhee. "We'll still need players playing well around him and there are some who continue to disappoint and need to do more. There are certainly three or four who didn't do enough on Saturday and they know who they are."
A total of 288 Rovers supporters made the 400-mile round trip and McGhee said: "I don't care if only one fan makes the trip, we still have a responsibility to play a lot better than we did.
"Fans will accept losing games at times, but when you lose without showing the required effort and work-rate it is a different story. I don't think enough of our players gave that effort which you need to win a football match out there and the fans should be rightly incensed by it.
He added: "It is my responsibility as the manager to bring that effort out of them, so clearly I have failed in my job today. The fans have every right to be angry, so what I have to do now is to go and put that right and get the players working as hard as I can, as well as, when the time is right, make the changes we need to make us better."