SEAN ST LEDGER is ordering his Guiseley players to claw back some pride and insists he will not accept a downing of tools – in a week which will see the Lions’ National League relegation finally confirmed, barring a mathematical miracle.
The Lions are all but down after Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Solihull Moors – but must now negotiate a triple-header of home games this week, starting with the visit of Barrow this evening.
Dagenham and Redbridge follow on Thursday night before Guiseley round off their home campaign against Woking on Saturday, ahead of long trips to Torquay United and Boreham Wood in the final week of a arduous, battle-scarred campaign.
As it stands, rock-bottom Guiseley are 15 points behind fifth-from-bottom Woking – the only team who they can catch outside of the relegation positions – with five games to go and relegation will be mathematically confirmed if the Lions fail to beat Barrow this evening.
But with Woking possessing a healthy goals difference advantage over Guiseley, the Nethermoor Park outfit are all but down already.
With three home games in front of the club’s long-suffering home support this week, St Ledger is demanding that his side produce some uplifting performances to give fans some minor consolation from a thoroughly stressful campaign – and says he will not tolerate any slackening off.
St Ledger, who admitted that the confidence was sucked out of his side in Saturday’s error-strewn 3-1 loss at Solihull Moors, when the Lions conceded some poor goals, said: “Regardless of what happens, we – the management and players – have to make sure that we play with pride and recover some pride, simple as that.
“Regardless of what position you are in, you have to play with desire. As a footballer, you are very privileged to have this job and you have to play with desire. If you don’t and I am in charge, then you won’t be here. It is as simple as that.
“Until it is mathematically impossible, we will keep going. You never know. If I am here next season, I will probably be focusing on what will be happening next season. But we obviously don’t know what is going to be happening, so it is a hard one to call.”
Meanwhile, St Ledger admits that he is unsure regarding his own situation when the current season ends, with the former Republic of Ireland international having taken the reins on an interim basis since the sacking of Paul Cox on February 14.
On his future, St Ledger, whose appointment has helped galvanise flagging spirits in Guiseley’s dressing room, said: “There has been no real discussions as yet. But as I have said before, we will take it on a game by game basis and then I am sure that powers that be will be discussing what they want to do with the club next season and obviously I will have my input in terms of where I see myself and the football club and we will do go from there.”
Tonight’s game is also a big one for visiting Barrow, who are also fighting for their National League lives.
The fourth-from-bottom Bluebirds are one point adrift of Woking and have two matches in hand on the Cardinals.
A point tonight would see the Cumbrians climb out of relegation zone due to their superior goal difference.