Kamikaze defending angers Bees boss Fowler
STUDLEY boss Mike Fowler slammed his players for their kamikaze defending and wilting under pressure after they were drubbed 5-0 by visitors Walsall Wood in Saturday’s pre-season match.
And he warned that there would be no place in the team for those failing to put in the effort as the start to the new Midland Football League Premier season edges closer.
The Bees impressed against higher-ranked Stratford Town and eased to victory over Inkberrow but were brought back to earth by the team that won Studley’s league last season.
Fowler admitted: “I said that this was the game we wanted – a benchmark for where we were at – and I think both the scoreline and performance shows that we are not where we need to be. I think it was a rude awakening for some of the players.
“It is important to remember that we didn’t lose any points and it has allowed me to see what characters I have in there. In training they look mentally strong and resilient and have character. A couple of games into pre-season when things have gone well they have shown how good they can be. Today, as soon as it started to go wrong, people went into their shell. If it is something that they can’t cope with when they come under a bit of pressure, then obviously it’s not something that I will tolerate for long. They either have to deal with it or then I’ll have to.
“We had players missing but players not being here is not an excuse for me. It is an opportunity for players to come in and do well but we didn’t do the basics well. For me it is about what we do in both boxes. We didn’t win many first or second balls, our defending was kamikaze at times and then when we did get forward, we were a little bit rushed. We did have some good opportunities to score but that would have just masked over a less than impressive performance.
“I can accept poor performances if everyone is pulling in the right directions and working hard and communicating but they never did that at times and the brutality of it is that if you don’t do that then you won’t stay on the team.”
The Bees did bounce back on Monday by beating a youthful Redditch United XI 2-0 and head to Redditch Borough on MFL Division Two on Saturday.
Fellow Division Two side Alcester Town continued their pre-season with an excellent 2-0 victory over Division One visitors Paget Rangers on Monday in a game that had been postponed on Saturday. This weekend they host Moreton Rangers.
Southam United’s match with Kirby Muxloe was another to fall victim to the weather, they head to Nuneaton Griff on Saturday, while FC Stratford kick-start their pre-season with a trio of away matches – against Droitwich u21s (Friday), Knowle (Saturday) and Claverdon (Tuesday). Earlswood Town are also in action on Saturday when they travel to Feckenham.