Horsham have been told they must add some fighting spirit to their repertoire and dig in when things are not going their way in games.
The Hornets slipped a place to fourth as they suffered their sixth defeat of the season in the Bostik League South East on Saturday. A 2-0 reverse at Haywards Heath saw the league’s new boys complete the double of Dominic Di Paola’s side and move level on points with them.
But the Horsham boss was angered by the manner of the loss calling it an ‘unacceptable’ and pointing to the fact it has identified an ‘Achilles’ heel’ in their performance.
Di Paola has been quick to praise his players this year, but has spotted a worrying trend when the going gets tough.
He said: “I’ve said to the boys, it is no good taking all the credit against Cray when you perform like we did the following week against Haywards Heath.
“I thought we were so, so off it. You get nothing against hard-working teams when you are off it. Three Bridges was the same and it’s very disappointing.
“We had got to address it as it is a bit of an Achilles’ heel. When things do not go our way we are not really digging in. You have to roll your sleeves up, maybe the personnel is not right for those games.
“We have done well this season, but the performance against Heath was not acceptable. I can’t think of another time this season when I have had to say that it.
“At Bridges we were leggy and it should have been a draw. Against Haywards Heath at home, I felt we should have won the game. Against Bracknell in the cup, their bits of quality won it. Whyteleafe, we dominated and they took their chances and Sittingbourne was an even game, but they started better than us. The games we have lost, I could not previously fault the boys, but after Saturday they deserve a bit of criticism.”
Horsham are next in action on New Year’s Day at home to Guernsey.