“A tough day at the office”

Whitley’s 5-1 defeat at Bishop Auckland was obviously a huge disappointment for everyone involved with the club, none more so than manager Nick Gray.

“I thought Tuesday was the lowest point for me personally since I’ve been at the club but today, if it doesn’t match it, was probably worse again. It’s been a horrible week and I take full responsibility. It’s my squad I’ve assembled with the resources I’ve got. It’s no good saying we’re missing players, it’s 11 players against 11 players and we keep on shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s hard to chew. I need to think about what’s going on and see where we go forward.

“First half I thought we had a great chance in the first minute and after two chances, they took theirs and we didn’t take ours. We had a couple of half ones, then we went down to ten men by a lack of discipline and the sin bin and then that’s killed the game. When we’re down to ten the key thing’s not to concede but we did twice. We don’t learn.

“Second half we did compete but that’s the minimum to be fair, it’s what we should’ve done. We scored a great goal and you never know (what might happen), but they got another one. Yes, we did alright second half but killed ourselves when we gave another poor goal away.

“There’s a bit of lack of confidence in the players. What I would say is the last two times I’ve been here with Whitley, this season and last season, we look as if we’ve been bullied. Their lads, the forwards put themselves about, the centre halves are big strong lads. They don’t give half an inch. They compete all over the pitch.

“Look, this is a decent side we’ve got, of course it is. We’ve good players but how many would you give 7 out of 10 today? How many did justice? How many could say ‘I know that I’m going to play the next game because I played well the last game’? And there’s very few. It’s nine games we’ll have had in a month and it shows our strengths and weaknesses.”

Whitley have the chance to bounce back quickly as they are in action again on Tuesday night at Tow Law and Gray looks on this as a positive.

“It’s not such a bad thing I don’t think. We’ll find out who’s fit and who’s up for the challenge. It’s August still, there’s a long season but there’s things need to be addressed. They need to be addressed very quickly not just on the pitch for me personally but off the pitch. We need to look at where this club wants to go, where the team wants to go and we need to have a re-assess and see how we’re going forward and what we do. Like I say, it’s a tough day at the office today, that’s for sure.”

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