Steve Evans talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
The manager continued with his weekly ''Gaffer on a Sunday'' column and was not wary of answering some tough questions after yesterday's home defeat to Southend United.
What were your thoughts on yesterday's performance and home defeat to Southend United?
Let me not hold back any thoughts, it was awful from start to finish. The Southend United goals may have came in the second-half but then again neither team looked capable of scoring a goal in the first-half but I only wish to focus on my team.
For me there was a distinct lack of effort, which in football is unforgivable. As a team and as individuals we lacked energy, desire and our performance had no passion. When all those characteristics are lacking in a performance then you have no chance of getting any positive result out of that particular match, ability never comes into it.
As the manager I take the ultimate responsibility and rightly so. I will not have it any other way so I offer an unreserved apology to our supporters for yesterday's inept display.
It is now my job to get the team right ahead of our visit to Aldershot Town next Saturday and those that know me will know how much I am hurting this morning. My teams never lack a fighting spirit but we did yesterday and that cannot ever be acceptable. I am in pain today but I do not get down and stay down, I get up and fight for the cause and what I believe in.
We have a lot of work to do on the training ground this week and that is now the focus. It goes without saying that positions in the team next week are up for grabs, now let us see who wants them.
Yesterday saw you serve the last match of your FA suspension, how much are you looking forward to being back?
Words cannot express how much I have missed the matches and I know from what my players have told me how much they have missed having me with them.
It is not about looking back now, it is about looking forward and everyone getting behind the team. As we sit this morning, we are four points outside the promotion playoff places and with a match in hand. In my opinion we are fortunate in the respect that outside Gillingham in League 2 every team seems to be beating each other.
I only want to concentrate on my team but who would have thought Wycombe Wanderers would have won at Fleetwood Town yesterday or who would have thought Dagenham would have won at Chesterfield, League 2 is a real tough competitive competition with many good teams and it takes a season to sort it out, this happened last year as the deserved eventual champions had a shocking start. As the manager I can only effect the matches we still have to play but I have plenty of fight for that, when the going gets tough I get in the trenches and fight, I never give up.
Moving on, are you hopeful of adding to the squad in the week prior to our next match?
We have been trying for a few weeks to do that and we will continue to try but let me make myself very clear, we already have a talented squad of players in place but they cannot just turn up and win football matches, they need to earn the right to win those matches. Our inconsistent performances this early in the season do mirror that of the likes of Swindon Town last season who like us this time around have so many new players coming together for the first time but the variances in my opinion are to great and we need to get that sorted quickly.
The lads are in training this morning, what else will be happening in the week ahead?
The lads will have an in-depth look at the DVD from yesterday's match, nothing beats watching the real thing rather than take another persons opinion. From that it is about learning that if you fail to apply a work ethic you will never get time to play positive football. After the analysis the boys will have some light training and the focus becomes our match next Saturday.
On Tuesday we have a closed door reserve match with Sheffield Wednesday so a few lads get the chance to fight for a place in Saturday's starting team. The same evening we travel to Rochdale in the FA youth club, a big night for our youngsters, we all wish them good luck.
Before then I will take in the Port Vale versus Oxford United match on Monday night and it is fair to say I will spend a fair amount of time preparing to ensure we have a fully focused and charged team for Aldershot Town next Saturday.