Ashington boss Steve Harmison slams defeat to Washington as ‘unacceptable’

Ashington defender James Harmison attempts to block to block the Washington forwards strike at goal. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington defender James Harmison attempts to block to block the Washington forwards strike at goal. Picture by Ian Appleby

Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison slammed his players in the wake of Saturday’s shock 4-2 defeat by relegation threatened Washington at Woodhorn Lane.

The boss said: “Any terminology of negative words can be used because the whole performance was not acceptable.

“You can say we came back and did well in the second half, but that is nonsense because we lost 4-2 off a team who are struggling at the bottom of the league.

“We made changes to see what we could do with two games over three days, which was important, but the game should have seen my players good enough to win, just as with our away defeat at West Allotment Celtic.

“For me it comes down to maybe attitude and the mind-set of what you are trying to do.

“The warm-up was fine and everything seemed good, but when we got under way, we were miles away all over the pitch and found ourselves 4-0 down at half-time.

“There were comments about the defence but it wasn’t the defence, it was everybody in front of them. We defend from the front and we didn’t do that and normally we are very good at that.

“We weren’t working hard enough; there were holes all over the pitch and we were just wandering around as though someone else was going to do it.

“We didn’t win the first ball nor pick the second ones up, and certainly in the first half we just let people run past us.

“Quite simply, the performance wasn’t acceptable and I will not tolerate it to see the season peter out.”

He continued: “We were shell shocked at being 4-0 down at half-time. We were flat; didn’t look as if we were diverse in energy and we were not working hard enough.

“The attitude was that we were playing against a team lower than us in the league in an end of season game, and that is not good enough.

“We changed it and that was for the better but we had given ourselves a mountain to climb.

“We had chances in the second half to draw level or even go on to win the game, but as a unit we were miles away all day.

“The players thought they just had to turn up and play and that was both disappointing and unacceptable.”

He concluded: “There are big decisions to be made at this club and those are coming soon.

“As a whole club we have stood still for a while now.

“We are struggling and I think that is something which needs to be addressed on both sides, whether it’s the football club side or the playing side.”