Southport manager Liam Watson chose not to hold back as he saw his side beaten 4-0 at Chorley in the National League North last night.
Watson, who returned to the club this summer to replace Kevin Davies, has managed the club in two previous spells and led the Sandgrounders to the title in this division in 2005 and 2010. He has seen Southport lose each of their first four games this season, however, with the team bottom of the table and the only side without a point so far.
Asked if he could put his finger on why last night’s performance was so disappointing, Watson gave a thoroughly frank assessment:
“Yeah because they’re the benchmark, they are what we need to be, and we are a million miles from being what Chorley are. Forget about ability, forget about strength, forget about power, forget about a team ethic, forget about everything, because they’ve got it all.
“We are a million miles away from that, and to be honest, I’m not surprised, because I’ve seen it coming. I’ve been told ‘this player’s good,’ ‘that player’s good,’ ‘they’ve done well in spells.’
“I said ‘do you know what? I haven’t seen it.’ At the moment we’ve got a load of overpaid players who think they’re miles better than what they actually are.
“Some of them will never play for me again. I’ve been biting my lip but they’ve got no character, it’s the quietest dressing room I’ve ever been in, they look petrified.
“They’re alright when they want to turn up in training and think they’re good, but they get too well looked after by the club. Everything the club have done to make them improve, make them feel professional, they don’t deserve half of it.
“They really, really don’t, and as I said, we need to move some of these out, but I’ve been trying to move some of these out from the start of the summer. The simple fact is no one wants to come in for them because a) they’re not as good as they think, and b) they’re actually on far too much money.”