Simon Rusk accepts his Stockport County side deserve criticism after a 3-0 home defeat to Yeovil Town today – but is asking fans to continue to back the club.
Rusk’s side were booed off at both half and full time by the majority of Edgeley Park, on a day where goals from Charlie Wakefield, Joe Quigley and Adi Yussuf sealed a third game without a win or goal for The Hatters.
Ash Palmer’s straight red card, and the resultant converted penalty didn’t help matters, but in truth the home side were already a goal down and chasing the game at that point.
Rusk led a lengthy inquest into the performance following the game and pulled few punches in his post match comments.
He said: “We’ve got to take that defeat on the chin, that performance shocked me today. We just weren’t good enough, and we have problems to solve.
“I won’t make excuses about missing players or anything like that, we are better than what we served up today.
“Have we put ourselves under pressure because we didn’t punish Grimsby in that game? Maybe that got on top of one or two of the players today. I’m certainly not seeing what I see in training from one or two of them, in terms of bright, sharp and positive actions.
“I need to understand it a little bit more. I’m quite emotional and angry about what’s gone on today. I can guarantee you that no-one is more frustrated and upset today than me.
“I’m asking people to stick with us. We are in a difficult time at the minute. We haven’t had much luck, are missing big players and have played poorly today. Those are the facts. I’m big on not ignoring the facts,” he said.
County looked low on both confidence and ideas, especially after going a goal down. The home fans let their voices be heard as their side had plenty of possession but did precious little with it, passing from side to side.
Alex Reid was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, and had his header from a corner gone in to level the score just after half time, it might have been a different game.
It wasn’t to be, and Palmer’s red card followed shortly afterwards.
Rusk acknowledges it’s understandable fans weren’t happy with today’s performance but wants the club to stick together in a testing period for all involved.
“I won’t say anything negative about people being frustrated by the performance today.“Of course, I can understand the fan’s frustrations today, but we need to fix the problems and we have to do it as one club.
“I accept we’ve had a difficult ride lately, which does happen in football and we’re not the first club to suffer from that. What do you do when things get like this? You work hard and knuckle down, accept the criticism, which is warranted in some respects. “There are always some things said in a fashion that’s not quite right, but that’s football and I can’t control what they’re feeling. I do ask people to stick with the players. In my opinion, this is the first really difficult patch that we’ve had in my time here.
“The fans here are brilliant, they’ll go away frustrated but I know when we’re here again they’ll get behind us,” he said.
County have the opportunity to quickly rectify a bad result as they are back in action on Tuesday night at Maidenhead United.