2:08pm Monday 10th October 2011
By Graham Moody
Tooting & Mitcham held clear the air talks between management and players on Saturday in a desperate bid to halt their stuttering form.
Mark Beard and his squad were locked in the changing room for an hour-and-a-half after the dismal 2-1 home defeat to Aveley, which extended their poor form to one win in eight league matches.
The unscheduled talks allowed every member of the team to air their views and Beard hopes it will provoke renewed optimism in training and at this weekend’s game at Canvey Island.
“Saturday was a massive disappointment,” he said.
“It was just not good enough and I feel sorry for the fans that paid the money to watch.
“We sat in the changing room for an hour-and-a-half after just talking through things – the whole squad was there and everyone put their point of view across.
“Sometimes, players go away and have discussions in their groups but now we all know all the points, so it was good.
“As a player, I never used to like anything like that but it wasn’t a planned thing, it just happened.
“It is not ideal as, when you get to that point, you are quite low but it shows the players do care.
“We learn as managers all the time and hopefully the players will learn as well.
“We have Tuesday and Thursday to work with them this week as there is no mid-week game and then we have a difficult match with Canvey Island.
“It is a case of coming together and working hard in training this week and starting to put into practice the things we talk about.”
Lee Newman scored Tooting’s consolation on Saturday two minutes from time, but defeat means the Terrors have now gone more than six months without a victory at Imperial Fields.
“God knows why we aren’t doing well at home,” added Beard, who gave a debut to new signing Mark Briggs, who had been playing in Malta, as a substitute against Aveley.
“It is not as if the fans are on their backs or anything.
“I have played in games at a professional level when the fans are booing you after 20 minutes but it hasn’t happened here.
“We do not do anything different in training and we prepare properly.
“Perhaps it is a confidence thing and that is a massive thing in football – there was no confidence at all on Saturday.
“Aveley worked harder than us and that was disappointing, the least you can do is give 100 per cent.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group