Aylesbury FC manager Craig Faulconbridge has apologised for the ‘unacceptable’ 5-1 FA Cup thrashing at home to Shortwood and launched a stinging attack on his team insisting he is the right man to weed out a culture of ‘greed and selfishness’ among some players.
The Moles made it nine goals conceded in back-to-back home defeats in a game that was worth £3,000 in prize money to the club.
Faulconbridge berated his side after their 4-0 drubbing at home to Dunstable Town last weekend and said it was time for his players to “step up or get out” as they looked to get back to winning ways and go on something of a cup run.
So there may well be a few players heading for the FC exit door after his stark warning for improved attitudes and performance levels seemingly fell on deaf ears.
So poor was FC’s display that Faulconbridge released a statement on Sunday evening apologising to the club and its fans while insisting he is still the man to lead the side forwards.
He said: “Firstly, I need to apologise to all the fans, club officials and followers of Aylesbury FC.
“Saturday was totally unacceptable on any level regarding the performance of the team and certain players within it.
“I am and always will be responsible for the team and how they perform and want to firstly reassure everyone associated with the club that as a management team, myself, Keith and Fraser will not accept this and will certainly be looking to fix the reasons why the team lacks the passion and desire needed to compete at this level.
“As a management team we cannot defend the manner in which we exited the competition on Saturday, nor can we defend the manner in which we capitulated against Dunstable Town last Saturday, and we are well aware that the buck ultimately stops with us, and we take full responsibility for it.
“I am a passionate man and yesterday hurt me, not just because we lost and missed out on precious revenue for the club, but the manner in which we lost suggests this is how I am personally.
“Nothing could be further from the truth, I love this club. Since I joined I saw a fire burning behind the scenes in the chairman and the other board members that didn’t take me long to get in on and I will fight tooth and nail to protect both its progression and it’s stabilisation at this level and above.
“The way in which some players have let me down, I feel, portrays a false representation to the type of character I am as I put my heart and soul my football and all I ask for in return from players is to do the same.
“Ever since I joined this club I have experienced a selfless determination from club officials in ensuring that funds are made available to secure the types of players that deserve to wear the black and red of the club, and yet this has only ignited a greed and selfishness in return, this is not how I want to be seen and ultimately remembered for so a plan has been formulated and certain players, come Tuesday night, will no longer represent the football club.
“We have also made a number of enquiries locally and further afield to freshen the squad up for the visit of Leighton Town on Tuesday night which, because of the short amount of time available ultimately may not be possible.
“We must win the game and we will produce a better performance.”
Ahead of Tuesday night’s match against Aylesbury United’s landlords, Faulconbridge also insisted he is the right man for the job despite the inauspicious start to the season save for a win over their bitter rivals the Ducks in August.
“I am the right person for this position and will prove it starting with a positive performance against Leighton.
“I am big enough to accept I have made mistakes including having faith in certain players who constantly let the management team and the club down, but as the day dawns so does a new outlook for the team.
“I can’t get the last couple of games back and I can’t replay the games we have so inadequately lost through apathy but what I can do is actively change the players who are letting me down and replace them with players who actually want to play for the badge and the shirt they are wearing.
“Personally, I can’t wait for Tuesday, as it gives me a chance to show the supporters and everyone associated with the club we don’t take things laying down and am able to make the right changes for the good of the team moving forward.”
In his lengthy and heartfelt statement, Faulconbridge reiterated his desire to remain as manager but said he wants what is best for the club.
He added: “Whatever action is to be taken to move the club forward I will completely agree to as I want the club to succeed regardless, but I want to reassure everyone I am not accustomed to knowing when I am beaten and still feel I am still the right person to move the club forward, and have already begun, what I feel is the necessary steps, to ensure we not only recover from this dismal start we have had but start to restore the faith shown, not only from the club, but from the supporters as well.”
The game against Shortwood was well and truly over by half-time as FC trailed 4-0. Lee Grant grabbed a consolation in the second half but Shortwood went up the other end and restored the four-goal cushion in the next move of note to seal what the club’s own official Twitter feed described as a ‘thoroughly abject performance’.
Tuesday’s visit of Leighton is followed by a trip to Northwood on Saturday (3pm).