Assistant boss Erkan Okay has warned his faltering Soham Town Rangers side that they must shape up quickly, or he and manager Robbie Mason will be forced to make changes, writes Liam Apicella.
The Greens headed into the festive period on the back of three straight victories, but four defeats in a row — at an aggregate of 13-3 — have since dampened the mood at Julius Martin Lane.
Mason was upbeat during the winning sequence, insisting that his team should be looking towards the top half of the Bostik League North Division in 2018.
But recent form has dropped them down to 18th — their lowest position since gameweek 12.
It is a situation that has left the management team bitterly frustrated, with Okay stressing the need for the players to take some responsibility.
“Our discipline is costing us — and I am not just talking about the yellow and red cards,” he said.
“We are also making bad decisions during games and with the suspensions kicking in — we have a small squad — it is really hurting us.
“We cannot keep missing three or four of our important players each week because of suspension.
“The game has changed so much. When Robbie and I played, we had managers that read the riot act, even when we were winning.
“Players today do not want to be criticised, they want to be wrapped up in cotton wool.
“But our lads need to take the criticism, show some character and knuckle down.
“We have shown a lot of trust and belief in this group, but if results do not improve we will have to shake things up.
“It will be hard to do because we do not have the resources to make big changes, but we will do what we can.”
The latest defeat — a 4-0 reverse at Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday — was the start of a 10-day break without a game for Soham.
It gives Okay — alongside Mason — the chance to iron out some of the problems in training, though he would prefer things were put right on the pitch.
“We have got a bit of time to work on things, but there is only so much you can do,” he added.
“When you put in a performance like we did on Saturday, you could do with a game straight away to get it out of the system.
“I would prefer for us to get straight back out there and put it right.”
Soham will have a new goalkeeper between the posts for Tuesday’s trip to Cheshunt (7.45pm), with Josh Pope suspended.
Okay revealed that talks were under way to bring in a shot-stopper for the encounter, with the situation hopefully resolved by the end of the week.