Ian Evatt has admitted he has felt like ‘stringing’ a few team-mates up in a scathing appraisal of Chesterfield’s season so far.
The Spireites skipper says the squad have not only let new manager Gary Caldwell down, but his predecessor Danny Wilson and the club’s supporters.
And it’s his opinion that young players have got to start showing that results matter to them.
At 35, Evatt is one of the most experienced men at the Proact and is not shy of expressing his point of view.
That was something the Town squad discovered on Saturday after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Bury, a ‘disaster’ of a result in Evatt’s eyes.
“We’ve got to right the wrongs, it’s about time players started standing up to be counted and put in the effort, desire and determination other players are putting in,” he said.
“We had an open meeting after the game where I voiced my opinion and the manager did also.
“We’re letting him down, he’s come in and been fantastic, training has been fantastic, the way he gets up set up and playing is fantastic. We’re letting him down, we’re letting the club down, we’ve let the fans down and the previous manager – we haven’t been good enough.
“Things have to change, simple as that and we made that clear after the game in no uncertain terms.”
Home truths and brutal honesty might be an eye opener for some of the squad’s youngsters, particularly those who have arrived on loan from Premier League and Championship clubs.
Saturday’s Man of the Match Evatt is in no mood to sugar coat his words on their behalf.
“It’s a man’s game. This is football, the real thing.
“You can’t hide behind youth contracts at Premier League clubs forever.
“There’s going to come a time when you need to step into men’s football.
“Not everyone makes it at the Manchester Citys of this world, you’re going to have to move down and earn your corn.
“When I was a kid, you have certain demands and the first demand is that you give 110 per cent every day of your life.
“It’s the best job in the world in my opinion and that’s the minimum requirement as a footballer.
“If you’re not prepared to do that you’ll find yourself out of the game quickly.”
Strongly hinting that Saturday’s failure to hold on to a 1-0 lead came down to a lack of desire, Evatt suggested that results don’t appear to mean as much to footballers of a certain age.
“How much do you want to win?
“Even at my age it matters so much to me, it ruins the rest of your week.
“There’s no better feeling that winning on a Saturday, going home to your family with a smile on your face.
“It ruins everyone else’s life because I’m a grump for the rest of the week if we lose.
“That’s how much it’s got to hurt.
“Young players in general, I just don’t think it matters enough to them.
“This is a fantastic game football, it gives you a fantastic life but it requires a certain effort and commitment.
“All the top players in the world their bread and butter is to work hard.
“I think youngsters are molly coddled too much.
“I remember being a young kid and if I wasn’t doing my job I would be put up against the wall by a senior player.
“Obviously you’re not allowed to do that anymore, which makes it difficult, because I’d have strung a few up by now.”
Evatt insists Saturday’s post-game meeting cleared the air and left everyone in no doubt about what is expected from them.
Now the task is simple – earn at least 21 points from the remaining League One fixtures, or risk relegation.
“We need to win seven out of the last 14 games, simple as that,” he said,
“I’m still very positive about it, I believe we can do it. But everyone else has to sing off the same hymn sheet.
“We cleared the air on Saturday and hopefully we can go to Millwall on Tuesday and right the wrongs of Saturday.
“We’ve got to be positive.
“We still have some very good footballers at this club but to show that you need the first bit, that’s effort and the desire to win a football match.
“There are young players and they need to learn the game and learn what’s required of them.
“We’ve certainly set that out now and hopefully they can blossom and really push on.”