Perhaps last Saturday’s result was one of the most disappointing so far in the Peter Duffield era as lowly Market Drayton comfortably beat the Nailers 3-0 at their Greenfields ground.
Recently appointed manager Jimmy Mullen appears to have injected new belief into a Drayton side languishing at the bottom end of the table, and despite Belper having plenty of possession, not only couldn’t they find the net but looked very vulnerable to the direct counterattacking style of their hosts.
Manager Peter Duffield called his team’s performance ‘totally unacceptable’ and apologised to supporters on the team bus as they travelled back from Shropshire.
“I was embarrassed by the whole thing,” he said. There were no positives at all, we were beaten by a team that showed more desire and effort and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
“We were poor in possession and even worse out of possession. I can’t recall any other defeat in my career that has caused me so much anguish and soul searching, and over the weekend, I briefly thought about considering my future at the club.
“Belper Town are a great club, they have a superb board of directors, loyal supporters who are desperate for success, and that’s why I’m here with Mick (Godber) and Shaun (Hird) and I’m no quitter and intend to see the job through.”
It was confirmed last week that Lee Morris had returned to Matlock Town leaving Duffield short of a main striker despite some promising displays from Jordan Turner, a signing from Goole a couple of weeks ago.
Another ‘new’ face on the bench was Cashel Walters who signed for Belper during the close season but as yet hadn’t figured in any squads under either Tommy Taylor or Peter Duffield.
Nailers’ supporters may have seen the last of Luke Fedorenko who declared himself unavailable for the trip to Drayton while Lee Whittington’s stay with Belper ended last week when he followed Lee Morris back to Matlock Town.
“I am hopeful of bringing in two more players next week and I will continue to look to improve the squad.”
“Judging by last Saturday’s display there will be more departures if certain players don’t buck their ideas up,” said Duffield. “The honeymoon period is over. We did very well at the start, but clearly things aren’t right and it’s my responsibility to address the problems and get us back on track.”
“I want to make it clear to everyone that I won’t tolerate the kind of performance that some players gave me last Saturday, and the message from me is clear – if they don’t put the effort and commitment in that the club and I demand, then they are on their way.”