Even on the Sunday morning following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Worcester the previous day Blyth Spartans manager Tommy Cassidy was seething.
Only just capable of maintaining his usual quietly spoken demeanour and worldly wise pragmatism in place it was obvious a raging storm was brewing just below the surface. A storm which had hit his players at half time in the game and had done little to subside since.
“I lost my temper with the players for the first time since I’ve been at Blyth. I was just so embarrassed by how bad we had been!” he revealed. “I’m fed up with saying the same things but we were really, really poor at Worcester, especially in the first half. It was a reality check for the club. Worcester were mediocre but we were worse! We had no threat up front, no creativity in midfield and made mistakes at the back. I’m fed up with it and I’m on the supporters’ side with how they feel at the moment”.
The visitors conceded five minutes before half time when Matt Birley scored. Cassidy fumed that about the space and time Worcester had on the ball in the lead up but remained focused on the wider, even darker picture.
“Gav [Gavin Fell, assistant manager] and I take responsibility for things but the players need to stand up and be counted too. Some are simply not doing the business”.
Blyth conceded for the second time on 50 minutes when Michael Taylor finished after what Cassidy termed a ‘disgraceful mistake’ by his side.
The Spartans drew one back with ten minutes remaining via a curling free kick from Joe Kendrick. It did little though to lighten the boss’s mood.
“We did bit better in the last quarter of an hour but the game was over by then,” he said. “I was aware, on the touchline of the home supporters laughing at us. That is wrong and shouldn’t be happening to us. Everyone needs to look at themselves!”
Despite a cloak of frustrated melancholy draped heavily across his shoulders a welcome chink of light still managed to find a way out.
“We’re feeling down but we must keep going,” Cassidy said, with as much conviction as he could muster. “Three wins on the belt is very optimistic but it’s up to the lads”.
The brighter moment of was however clouded over as Cassidy ruminated. “I was at a youth football event this morning [Sunday] and it was great but after the Worcester game I just wasn’t in the mood. I just wonder if my players were waking up today feeling just as bad . . .”
A good question and the answer of which could, bearing in mind Cassidy’s bullish, cornered mood, have serious consequences for any players coming up short of their manager’s expectations.