STEVE Johnson ordered his players to apologise to fans following Weymouth’s 3-0 mauling by Welling United.
The Terras boss marched his men over to face a baying Wessex Stadium crowd after what he described as an ’embarrassing’ Conference South display.
Around 50 supporters vented their anger after watching Johnson’s side suffer his heaviest home league defeat for more than two years.
Johnson, who earlier in the day was told by chairman Martyn Harrison that the club will go fulltime next season, fumed: “I felt embarrassed by that performance and I wanted my players to feel the same way.
The fans are the people who pay the players’ wages and the supporters deserve much, much better than they got.
At the final whistle I marched the players over to the fans because I wanted to embarrass the players and also wanted them to apologise to the fans.
Players are happy enough to take praise and all the plaudits when things go well, like after our win the previous week at Basingstoke.”
“But after a defeat it’s always the manager who gets the flak even though once the players go out there, it is out of my hands.”
“If the players got stick, they fully deserve it. This defeat has ruined my weekend and I want my players to feel as bad.”
“Some of them complained afterwards that they didn’t felt they should be put in such a position in front of the fans.”
“I responded ‘Why? You happily take praise and credit when it suits you, so you should be prepared for a bit of stick now and again.”
Johnson defended his decision to change the side which won at Camrose.
Player coach Roy O’Brien came in for Matt Bound, whose wife was expecting a baby, while striker Lee Phillips replaced midfielder lan Hutchinson.
Johnson said: “I’ve got no regrets over the side we sent out because whatever team I picked had enough quality to win. But for the first time since I came herein November, we played like 11 individuals.”
“There was no rhythm and the fact we hardly tested their keeper said it all. We were one down at half-time and I told the lads the next goal was going to be crucial.”
“Within five minutes of the restart bad marking has let Welling in for a second and we then had a mountain to climb.”
Johnson added: “Things have gone well over the last three months and I’ve received a lot of compliments for the way we’ve turned things around.”
“But I’ve now got to show why I was appointed and make sure this type of performance does not happen again.”
“We’ve got to do plenty of work on training ground this week because I never want to see another performance like that ever again.”
“The only real positive we can take is that we’re still not that far off the play-offs despite this defeat.”
“But we can forget about any chance of getting in the play-offs with many more performances like this one.”
Meanwhile, Weymouth’s board of directors have confirmed the club will be turning full-time from the summer.
And Johnson admits he is relishing the prospect. “Turning full-time is the logical next step for us as a club” he said.
“Training every day will give us a massive boost and give us more time to work on tactics, fitness and everything else.”
“The board’ deserve heaps of credit for making such a big decision which shows the club is ambitious and forward thinking.”
“Unfortunately though this defeat has taken off quite a bit of the gloss of that announcement and has left us looking a bit silly.”
“But when you look at the bigger picture, turning pro is good news for the long-term future of the club and I’m delighted with the move.”