Grant: I will wield the axe
PUBLISHED: 09:52 02 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:13 14 September 2010
Peter Grant has warned his players that no one's future is safe after a performance at Colchester which he described as "abysmal", "awful" and "embarrassing".
Peter Grant has warned his players that no one's future is safe after a performance at Colchester which he described as “abysmal”, “awful” and “embarrassing”.
The City boss was furious after the 3-0 defeat at Layer Road and said he was prepared to make “surprise” decisions during his summer building plans.
“I have always said we are short of the quality we need, the boys know that,” he said. “At the end of the day, every time they pull on the jerseys they are playing for their futures, no matter if they have a 10-year contract or a one-week contract, they are always playing for their future, because that's the way I look at it.
“I am always trying to improve the team and that's a weekly thing, that will happen, I will guarantee it.
“If we had won four or five nothing today it will happen because we are short of quality and it has proved it today again.
“We are well short of that and we know we have to improve on that and the players know that.
“But the ones that are going to be here will have to play much better - the ones that want to be here will have to play much better, because I will make decisions that maybe some people will be surprised at. But I will make them to make this team a better team because the consistency levels are awful.”
It was a Jekyll and Hyde performance from City, who stood toe to toe with Colchester without ever getting on top in the first 45 minutes, but then withdrew deep into their shells for a second half which simply became a comedy of errors.
Three goals in the space of 21 after the interval - the first scored by former Canaries striker Jamie Cureton - could well have been more as City ended a “purple patch” of successive 1-0 wins with a second-half display which was arguably as poor as City fans have witnessed under Grant's reign.
“I thought the first half we were okay, just okay, but I thought second half we were awful,” said Grant. “It's not many times you can say that to every player. I think you look through it and apart from Gary Doherty and probably Tony Warner I think we struggled badly.
“It was a massive disappointment. I couldn't see that coming in the first half because you know what you are going to be up against here. I thought we more than matched that in the first half, but I thought in the second half we were abysmal.”
City had beaten Birmingham and Stoke in their previous two matches before the international break, but the rest appeared to have done more harm than good for a team which, unbelievably, still had a mathematical chance of reaching the top six come the end of the season.
“There is no explanation, no excuse,” added Grant. “I could give excuses if I wanted to do, but I think that would be shying away from people taking responsibility. If you can't do the simple things well, as I keep saying many, many times, if you can't pass the ball 10 yards, you have a big problem as a professional football player - you have a big problem playing for me, and some of the decision-making and some of the actual general play was awful, it was embarrassing at times.
“We are talking about trying to go three games on the bounce - it should be 10 or 11 games on the bounce we are talking about, not two or three. It is a reality check. If people think they are good players I think it shows you when you are a good player you do the job consistently. Fair play to Colchester, they knew they were in the game first half and maybe got a little bit of a break in the first half in the second half thoroughly deserved it - 3-0 probably flattered us.
“It was so lacklustre it was unbelievable. You could sense it, 'oh well it's 0-0 that's okay'. I just couldn't understand the performance in the second half, it was really disappointing.
“We battled hard in the first half because we knew the sort of pressure they'd try and put us under putting the ball in behind you and playing off second balls and I thought we coped admirably. But we got into the final third and the decision making was very, very poor. We worked the ball well to get into good areas and just never delivered and then we paid the price in the second half.
“We were awful and never looked happy - I don't think the keeper had a save to make.”