NIGEL WORTHINGTON will forgive a York City defeat. But what he will not excuse is a defeat like Tuesday’s FA Cup exit to Bristol Rovers, when for the opening 70 minutes the Minstermen put in a display he later labelled as “pathetic” and “unacceptable”.
The Irishman’s response has been to bring in two new faces on loan, Cheltenham Town defender Keith Lowe and Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Nick Pope joining the League Two outfit.
York’s manager is demanding a response from his players today.
He said: “I say it how I see it and if that involves criticising the players then so be it.
“We need to start from the first whistle at Southend, not wait until there are 20 minutes to go – as happened on Tuesday. That must never be allowed to happen again.
“The players know exactly how I feel and know that I want to see a reaction. Hopefully, those first 70 minutes on Tuesday will prove to be just one of those days. I certainly don’t want to see a repeat.
“We want a response. The chairman and all the staff at the club deserve that much. They all work so hard to make things as good as possible for the players in terms of preparation.
“By that, I mean the training ground, our travel arrangements and a whole manner of things. A lot of time and money goes into making things right.
“All that is asked of the players is for them to go out and perform. If it turns out that we lose a game because we are not good enough, then we can live with that.
“But to not perform and beat yourself is simply not good enough.
“We will know come 5pm on Saturday if we have the response I want. It is as straightforward and as sensible as that.”
Lowe is likely to start today as Worthington searches for an answer to the defensive frailty that has seen his side concede 20 goals in their last nine outings.
The 28-year-old arrives with a wealth of experience, having previously played for Wolves, Burnley, QPR, Swansea, Port Vale, Kidderminster and Hereford in a career that includes more than 250 appearances.
Pope enjoyed an impressive loan spell at Cambridge United and will bring some much-needed competition for Michael Ingham.