NON LEAGUE: Poor attitudes, bad injuries and disappointing results mean Godmanchester Rovers manager Ollie Drake is not a happy man
- Credit: Archant
Furious manager Ollie Drake read his Godmanchester Rovers players the riot act following two disappointing Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division deadlocks.
They slipped out of second place after having to fight back to snatch a 3-3 draw at lowly Long Melford last Saturday.
A second-half brace from Austen Diaper spared their blushes in Suffolk only days after they were held to a 1-1 midweek stalemate by Thetford Town despite going ahead through Matty Allan.
Rovers have now fallen 14 points adrift of table-topping Histon despite leading the way themselves earlier in the season. They also dropped behind Woodbridge, due to an inferior goal difference, in the fight to finish as runners-up for the third time in five seasons.
“We’re not good enough at the moment – it’s as simple as that,” said Drake.
“We seem to have lost our way at a point in the season where we need to be at our very best.
“Attitudes have been poor, availability has been poor and we’re really struggling with injuries.
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“Some of the blame lies with the players for not being committed enough and not looking after themselves well enough, but some of the responsibility also has to lie with myself and Errol (assistant manager, McCammon) for not motivating the boys well enough.
“We’ve dropped four points in two games that we should have won and we’re in danger of letting the season drift away.
“We could have pushed Histon close and we should certainly cemented second position now.
“The manner of our FA Vase exit was always going to be a big blow and we haven’t reached the levels we had done before then.
“I want to be runners-up in the league and I want to win both cup finals we’re in. I’m not going to settle for anything less.”
Rovers have a favourable run in on paper with their five remaining league fixtures featuring clashes against three of the current bottom four. In fact 10th placed Norwich United are the highest-ranked side they still have to face.
Rovers head to basement boys Framlingham Town this Saturday, 3pm, for a match which carries extra significance in the opinion of Drake.
Not only has he demanded three points to boost his side’s bid for second place, he also wants them to build momentum ahead of their big Hunts Senior Cup final showdown against St Neots Town next Wednesday (April 10).
Drake added: “It’s a game we have to win, but the same thing applies to Framlingham who will be dead and buried if they don’t get a result.
“We need to pick ourselves up even though we’re going to missing as many as seven players missing. It looks like we’ll be giving opportunities to a number of the Under 18s.”
Drake revealed midfielders Chris Hyem and Tom Spark could both miss the rest of the season while attacking talents Jack Chandler and Buster Harradine are both nursing knocks.
That’s added to the long-term absence of Joe Furness through injury while influential defender Charlie Bowen is also unavailable.