Whitley Bay players admit their performance was not good enough

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Following his side’s defeat to Newton Aycliffe, Whitley Bay assistant manager Paul Johnson admitted the performance was not good enough.

And he said not one player in the dressing room had been satisfied with their performance.

“If we are looking for a positive from the game, and it was the only one, every player put his hand up afterwards and said they hadn’t played well and would like to apologise to the fans for what was a very abject performance,” he said.

Coming on the back of the creditable display against Blyth Spartans in the Northumberland Senior Cup semi-final four days earlier, Johnson was particularly disappointed.

“We had hoped we had laid down some building blocks for the future on Tuesday, but we were well below that level against Newton Aycliffe,” he said.

“Maybe everyone expected a good result would follow, but the work rate just wasn’t there and against a team like Newton Aycliffe, if you aren’t prepared to work hard for the whole 90 minutes, what we witnessed is the result.

“We hit rock bottom in the Whitley Bay season in this game, in my opinion.

“When Paddy and I came to Hillheads we knew there was a rebuilding job to be done, but after this performance we will have to work harder and faster to ensure this club is back on its feet sooner rather than later.

“As the man in charge I found it totally unacceptable and the fans certainly had every right to find in unacceptable.”

With that in mind, Johnson confirmed that they were still looking at bring in players before the mid-March transfer deadline.

He added: “We need some creativity in midfield and will be looking to address that this week if we can.

“It is essential we get players in to continue the process of rebuilding the club; but obviously that will mean people going in the other direction too.”

However, one player Johnson has no plans to move on is youngster Chris MacDonald.

“We spoke to Chris this week and assured him he is big part of our plans for the future of Whitley Bay,” he said.

“What we have to do is work out ways to get the best out of him and from what we witness in training, that might mean a role further up the field in future.”

Whitley Bay are away to Durham City on Saturday – kick-off 3pm – and Johnson knows the fans will be looking for an improvement.

He said: “We have a very good fan base, home and away, one that is the envy of most – if not all of the Northern League clubs – and the last thing we need to do is alienate them.

“So we will be working hard in training this week to ensure we get a response from the players on Saturday, because we can’t have another performance like the one we witnessed against Newton Aycliffe.”