Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver left 'embarrassed' by defensive horror show on his return to Sheffield Wednesday

Simon Weaver's Hillsborough homecoming was ruined by a defensive performance from his Harrogate Town back-line which he described as "embarrassing".

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 10:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 7:06 am
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Picture: Getty Images

The Sulphurites chief grew up supporting Sheffield Wednesday and spent a decade at the South Yorkshire club as a player, going on to captain their reserve team having progressed all the way through the Owls' youth system.

Released by Ron Atkinson at the age of 20, Tuesday night saw Weaver return to S6 for the first time in a professional capacity, something he admitted pre-match that he was excited about.

Yet, although his team delivered a lively attacking performance and caused their League One hosts all sorts of problems for an hour of the EFL Trophy clash, Town's defence was found wanting.

"It's an embarrassing scoreline for us. We don't turn up anywhere and expect to go under like that," the Harrogate manager said following his team's 4-0 defeat.

"I don't mean that everyone went under, it's the back-line who need to show more. We looked a great team on the eye tonight, we cut them to shreds at times. We couldn't put the ball in the back of the net on this occasion, but that's not been a recurring theme this season.

"Defensively, we've been under no real pressure tonight and we've been made to look fools due to a lack of aggression and a lack of reading danger.

"It's just not good enough. One of their goals, one of our players jogged out to the ball. You don't jog out there at this club, you don't get away with it. That's an embarrassment, an embarrassment to me and the rest of the players, because the front six put in so much effort.

"They are embarrassing goals to concede from jogging, or from not being strong and hard and aggressive in the box. It is undermining all of the good work that we're putting in."

Weaver admitted that the scoreline overshadowed what should have been a special evening for him personally, but was quick to praise the Hillsborough crowd for the warm reception he received.

"It was great to be back and look out at this outstanding stadium," he added.

"The home fans were fantastic when we were walking off, I really do appreciate that, so it's still been special for me in that respect, but I'm embarrassed to lose any game by that scoreline. I can't stand it."

"I've had a right go at the back-line in the changing room because I'm embarrassed coming back here after 23 years and losing 4-0.

"I'm embarrassed. We're better than that scoreline. I'm really disappointed, I don't like losing like that."