TUFC head coach Gary Owers found it difficult to sum up United’s performance as they went down 4-3 to ten-man Guiseley.
United lost once again to the Lions and were second best for most of the match despite having a man advantage. It left Gary Owers struggling to find the words to explain how badly the team played on the night.
“Very, very difficult to come out here and speak to you [the press],” said Owers after the final whistle. “That’s the lowest part of my career, but it’s not about me though. To be stood here and watch that [performance], to be responsible for that – yeah, it’s my fault everyone can blame me for everything. I take the responsibility and I get all that – that [performance] is not a representation of me and it’s not a representation of the Torquay United fans, or the football club in any shape or form.”
“Fear is what you have to put it down to. Playing against a team that is below us in the league – out of form – and I stood in horror like everyone else and watched the goals go in. We lost all organization; we lost our shape. We didn’t do the things that we were supposed to do. The players didn’t do the things they were asked to do – simple as that. And I can say that because it is a fact, I know it is a fact. It was tough.”
After relegation was confirmed on Saturday, Owers once again was left considering the impact another heavy loss had on the Yellow Army.
“I’m stood here saying sorry again to the supporters, sorry. Sorry is not a big enough word or is not – there isn’t a word to apologize for that, it was dreadful.”
On loan striker Rhys Healey struck a hat-trick but Guiseley were always in front in the match. United were on the back foot for the entire ninety minutes.
“You’ve seen the goal. The penalty, and then thirty seconds later we’re a goal down and we were lazy, we defended lazy. We didn’t work hard enough against 10 men. We let them get set – too many elementary mistakes. We could pass the ball five yards or ten yards. I’m shocked really, I am shocked. I find it quite hard to try and explain – I’m not offering any excuses. I’m stood there to be shot at and I’m being shot at. It’ll get sorted out and I won’t have a team, or a squad of players that don’t at least show passion for the shirt, for the club.”
United face Ebbsfleet at Plainmoor on Saturday (kick-off 12:30pm) but the Gaffer’s retained list is already pretty much complete.
“I’ve made my mind up, I’m pretty clear what’s going to happen and everything will be done and dusted by Monday tea-time – no bones about that. I have to find people that want to play with passion and that was the biggest thing. It’s my fault, I can’t say anything, I have to take the blame, I know that. I’ll be a lot happier taking the blame in the future when I get a team that will at least play with some passion.
“I’ve just said to the lads – what am I going to get? We’ve got to get through another ninety minutes, they’ve got to come out and show that they care about the club whatever the circumstances are. All of the loan players will be going back, some players will move on, some players might stay. If we play like we did tonight against Ebbsfleet, it’ll be even worse.
“I’ve said that you’re always playing for something in this game. If there was people watching our players tonight then there won’t be many people moving on to bigger and better things. It is tough, I am finding it tough to try and explain away that performance, and it’s not easy tonight I can tell you.”
United missed a chance to open the scoring in the 4th minute when Guiseley ‘keeper Joe Green saved a penalty from Elliott Romain. Then in the 11th minute United were once again appealing for a penalty when Romain was caught by Green coming to claim a ball. Romain got to the ball quicker than his opponent and seemed to be clipped, but the referee waived away United’s appeals. Should it have been another penalty?
“Maybe, didn’t happen and I’m not going to moan about refs anymore. I’ve pulled up on that, so there you are. Let’s get on with it and have to take it on the chin and get through the rest of the week and then move the thing forward.”