FA CUP humiliation awaits AFC Hayes unless they rediscover some character and fighting spirit.
So said the Farm Park side’s manager Ian Crane in the wake of a 4-0 home defeat to near neighbours Uxbridge on Bank holiday Monday – a performance so inept Crane claimed given a pair of boots his daughter could have shown his players more appetite for the battle.
With Saturday’s FA Cup trip to Spartan South Midlands side Haringey Borough on the horizon, Crane warned any repeat of such a surrender would mean a rapid exit from the famous old trophy.
He said: “We played Haringey in a friendly last year, so we know all about what to expect. They will be a physical hardworking side.
“They will be typical north London boys, big, strong and up for the battle.
“If we go there like we were today they will get in our face and fancy their chances. Our boys have got to realise if you open a door for the opposition they are going to walk through it.”
The abject, characterless display was something of a throwback to the last campaign – Crane’s first season in charge – something he thought he had got out of their system, but which reared its ugly head again with a vengeance against Tony Choules’ reds.
It left Crane unable to defend the indefensible.
He added: “That performance today stank of similar ones last year and I thought we were passed all of that.
"The boys were absolutely awful – there are no excuses and I can’t even defend them.
"We have not turned up, there is a lack of fight. It is nothing to do with the tactics we employed we have just gone out there and rolled over.
"I’ve got a daughter at home who could probably have played in today’s side – it’s unacceptable."
Crane will need to reshuffle the pack for the trip to Airedale Park with Jack Buckle and Ben Dyett set to miss the cup action through suspension after being sent off in the opening league game of the campaign.