FUMING Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth cancelled a day off for his players after questioning their desire to win in a shocking 3-0 home defeat against AFC Wimbledon.
Blues turned in the worst performance during Ainsworth’s tenure to slump to an embarrassing defeat against a team winless in seven and with just one goal to their name in their previous five outings.
The Dons didn’t even have to play that well to condemn Wanderers to a defeat that leaves them in 19th place, just four points away from the dreaded drop zone.
Ainsworth admits his side can get sucked into further trouble if their form doesn’t improve and preparations for stopping the rot in Blues’ next match away to Morecambe on Saturday start tomorrow, when the Wanderers boss will be dragging his players in to the training ground to relive the video nasty of today’s performance.
He pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s display, with a second half collapse worthy of an English Ashes upper batting order.
Ainsworth said: “It’s something we pride ourselves on here, being passionate and having the desire. It just went missing today. I’m flummoxed to say why it was missing, but there will be no way it’ll be missing next week. I’ll be making sure everyone’s [desire is] back. We’ve got to work hard now, otherwise we’ll get sucked into a nasty situation and I don’t want that.
“Over 46 games you deserve to be where you are and I don’t want to be down the bottom after 46 games. To get out of this we’ll have to work hard. We have to study what went wrong today first and foremost and that’s what we’ll be doing as early as tomorrow and working on Morecambe this week. The passion, the desire has to return before we can think about playing any formation and football, and I’ll be working on that.
“We’ll be watching the video tomorrow. I want to put this one to bed as soon as we can. We’ve got plenty to work on during the week with Morecambe coming up. I’m going to take every available minute I can this week to put that right and work on what we need to do up there, because it wasn’t good enough at all second half.”
The lack of fight in his side was what most hurt Ainsworth, who demands nothing less than the stomach for a battle.
Normally a happy-go-lucky character who tries to find the positives, the Blues boss had a face like thunder as he appeared for his post match press conference and did not mince his words in his assessment of the second half non-performance.
He said: “I’m not happy with that players, I’m not happy with the reaction to going one down and definitely not happy with the second half performance.
“Sometimes systems and the way you play, they go by the wayside. You’ve got to stand up for the battle man for man. You look at their first goal, a set play – you have to be better defending that and we are going to have to be working on these things.
“I was not happy with the way we defended. We looked very deep today, we didn’t squeeze up and press them enough, and they punished us second half.
“To lose 3-0 at home to one of our rivals in the league is no good. I’ll be unturning every stone to try and put that right.
“We need to be putting points on the board and quick or my aim of finishing in the top half of the table will become more and more difficult.
“We are going to have to find that passion, that drive, that desire to get back up the league and not fall into the trap we did last year.”