Simon Weaver challenges Harrogate Town players to demonstrate their desire to become genuine promotion contenders
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver is demanding an improved showing from his players when Torquay United visit the CNG Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
The Wetherby Road outfit were humbled by struggling Sutton United last time out, serving up a performance in South London that their manager described as “disgraceful”.
And, with a victory this weekend the only way to guarantee that Town don’t drop out of the National League promotion picture, Weaver says he has had to deliver a few home truths.
“The display at Sutton really hurt, I had very little sleep at the weekend, wondering about that lack of application,” he revealed.
“We were lightweight, the focus wasn’t there. We didn’t defend well enough one-on-one or win enough first and second balls. Five-yard passes were going astray and, despite having the lion’s share of possession, we only managed one shot on goal.
“I’d be disappointed if our under-17s played like that, so we have to be much better against Torquay.
“On Monday morning I showed them the video to illustrate just how bad it was. There were some home truths, because the players have to see that performance for what it was.”
Saturday’s 3-1 reverse at Sutton means that Town have won just one of their last six following a 10-match unbeaten run and has left Weaver questioning his players’ desire to achieve promotion.
“We managed to go on that brilliant run and get ourselves right up there and in with a legitimate chance of getting promoted, but now I’m wondering if we have the desire to go up,” he added.
"We've got ourselves into a great position, are we ready to go again? I don't want the lads to be scared of the next step. They haven't to be.
“I’m looking at people now to see if they have that ambition and drive. Are there players here who will settle for being mid-table? Because that's not something that I will settle for, nor would Paul [Thirlwell, assistant manager], the chairman or the board of directors.
"There's nothing wrong with having a target to work towards. I want to see us up in that top three come New Year's Day. Let's stick our necks out and really go for it.
"Everyone has to step up in terms of performance now. Everyone has to show their mettle.”