STEVE BROWNE has hit out at some of his squad – branding them “lazy” and “self-centred”.
The Dover boss is furious with the attitude of some of the players he inherited and believes they have shown their true colours in recent weeks by not standing up to be counted.
He said: “There are a number of players who are in the squad that have been a disgrace. To be perfectly frank, they have not been pulling their weight and displayed an unacceptable attitude.
“Some of the lads who are not getting into the team are sulking and kicking up a fuss. I understand players being frustrated at not getting into the side, but there’s a certain way one must respond.
“I’ve had players coming into see me with their parents – not happy with the situation. I have a job to do and every player I’ve brought in to the club are better than the ones who are not getting into the side at the moment. That is a fact and 99 per cent of fans, I think, would agree with me.
“But what annoys me more than anything is that these lads are not concerned about how the first-team performs, but more about themselves. That I find amazing and really is the very kind of thing you don’t need when trying to build a successful football club.
“Some of them have been hyped up and got into the first-team, thinking they’d arrived in the big-time. They believed all the hype and it’s gone to their heads. Some think they’re better than what they actually are. You have to keep your feet on the ground in football.”
Browne has been delighted with the attitude of players such as Dean Readings, Craig Wilkins, Matt Carruthers and Craig Cloke. And even though some of these players are not producing to their full potential, Browne can not argue with the determination and willingness to help the side dig itself out of the very large hole it currently finds itself in.
The Whites boss said: “This is going to be a hard job but this club really has potential. It’s climbed from this level to the top of non-league before and it can happen again – but we need every single member of the squad to pull in the same direction.
“I have no time for lazy or self-centred individuals, who only care about themselves. I need players who are going to battle and think in the best interests of the club.”
Browne also is getting fed up with hearing how he is increasing the wage bill by bringing players in – when in fact he has been working hard to balance the books, even reduce the wage bill where he can.
He said: “Five players, including Paul Armstrong, are not getting paid by the club. They are playing for nothing. They are on trial as I make decisions on who we are keeping and who will be leaving the club.
“So I have not increased the wage bill. I had to get players in because the ones who were here were not doing the business. Some could argue that the side we have now is not doing the business and I’ve got to start winning so people can take me more seriously.”
Warren Ryan has re-signed for the club and will be on board for another month while Lee Shearer’s loan spell has once again been extended by four weeks fromGravesend. Also Browne hopes to sign another central defender – again on trial.
He said: “Some of these lads are giving me five to six weeks. They’re playing for nothing and a couple are playing for peanuts but travelling down from very far away. They’re showing me commitment and standing up to be counted.
“I am delighted Warren has signed again for us and also we probably need another central defender – but of course I will have to shift players out.”
He has released striker Shaun Welford – who has joined Kent League club Ramsgate – and more are set to follow him out of the door.
Browne held a meeting with his players at training last night and told them that it was time for them all to toughen up and show the mental strength to get Dover Athletic out of the relegation zone.
He said: “I don’t want us to suddenly become a dirty side and kick lumps out of other teams – but want them to win battles and kill off opponents. We’ve got to be more ruthless because that’s definitely been our downfall as far as I can see.
“We’ve only won one league game so far since I’ve been here and that’s not reflected our performances. The side has to kill games off and make sure they win every battle on the pitch. Only then, will we start climbing this table.
“There is still a lot of football to be played yet and we’ve got to hit promotion form. We’re capable of doing that – so the challenge is there. And there to be won.”