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Danny Heale still fuming at his 'lazy' Canvey Island team
DANNY Heale branded his Canvey players “lazy and not good enough” following their first 5-0 defeat for 25 years.
The Gulls boss was fuming with his side in the wake of their humiliation at Bognor Regis on Saturday, although he revealed they had an extraordinary run of bad luck in the build-up which left them playing with an injured reserve keeper and no first-choice central defenders.
The last time Canvey lost by the same scoreline was at Woodford Town in March 1988, although they did lose by the same margin in a 6-1 humbling at Harrow two years ago.
Neither stat comforted Heale, and he admitted things need to be put right ahead of their home game with Enfield Town on Saturday.
“It was a horrible result at Bognor, but we have had an absolute nightmare in the build up,” he said.
“On Thursday night we got a call from Arsenal saying they needed (Canvey loan keeper) Josh Vickers back for one game only.
“Rob Bartley was suspended but we were expecting to have Rio Bryan-Edwards back, but he fell down stairs at work and aggravated his ankle injury and could not play.
“That meant we decided to move (striker) Simon Thomas back to centre half and that did not work.
“We did not get to the ground until 2.30pm after sitting in traffic for three hours so we didn’t warm-up and found ourselves 2-0 down in no time.
“Then just before half-time (keeper) Dale Brightly ripped his groin, but because we had no cover he had to play the rest of the game, even though he could hardly move.
“Then Nick Humphrey – our only fit centre back on the pitch – tweaked his hamstring early in the second half. Honestly, it was car crash.
“Despite all that, the players were did have out there did not put in enough effort.
“They were lazy and not good enough. It’s the only time it’s happened since I’ve been in charge, but it won’t happen again.”
Heale says he now has a busy week ahead of him as he looks to bring in cover at centre back, a new midfielder and a new striker to support his team’s faltering attack.
He said: “We now have two goals in six games, and one of those was from a defensive error.
“We have brought in some good strikers over the summer but, currently, we are goal shy and we need more.”