Pressure piles on Colin Walton as Ilford suffer ninth straight defeat

PUBLISHED: 12:07 18 November 2010

Derek Hawtin

Derek Hawtin


Ilford boss set to get tough with under-performing players

ILFORD manager Colin Walton vowed to ring the changes to his squad after witnessing his side’s 1-0 defeat to AFC Sudbury at Cricklefield on Saturday.

A Jack Wignall strike on seven minutes was enough for the visitors to claim all three points and inflict The Foxes’ ninth defeat in a row.

And, as the pressure on Walton intensifies, he acknowledged it’s time for him to be ruthless if Ilford are to turn things around.

“We had a stern meeting on Thursday and we had a departure of Zubair (Heleem) who’s gone to Maldon & Tiptree, so I had a bit of a clear out,” he said.

“There were a couple of fringe players who I felt were not going to push us on to the next stage where we need to be, which is just getting points and getting up to the middle part of table.

“We’re obviously looking at a couple of players and we’ve got quite a few coming down to training this week, which is why I had to clear the decks of players I didn’t think were going to make us any better.

“That’s nine defeats in a row in all competitions. We’re getting closer to the drop.

“I think there is pressure on me. Other managers are out of a job, and from a totally honest point of view we’ve won four games all season and two of those were against an Essex Senior League side, so it’s not good enough. I realise that and the players have also got to realise that, so when they’re dropped or they’re asked to move on there can be no complaints.

“I’ve got to look at my position as well and not really wait for results to just happen.

“We’ve got to be aggressive and get rid of players and bring players in.”

Following Ilford’s 6-2 defeat at Waltham Abbey on Tuesday night the home fans must have been fearing another drubbing when Wignall stole a march on the Ilford defence to get on the end of Tom Webb’s free kick and fire past Foxes keeper Pape Diagne.

Just before half time Sudbury nearly doubled their lead when Rhys Darg squared to James Baker, whose curling effort came back off the crossbar.

Derek Hawtin came closest to snatching a point for the hosts, midway through the second half, but his effort was blocked on the line by Darg, as Sudbury held on for the win.

Walton felt his side were much improved from the hammering by Waltham Abbey and that they did enough to earn a point.

“I think a draw would have probably been a fair result, because I think both teams probably cancelled each other out,” he said.

“I wasn’t really happy with the attitude of the players on Tuesday, because at half time I warned them about complacency.

“They didn’t heed my warning and we got punished, so I wasn’t happy with the attitude of the players, so the squad looked different today (Saturday).

“Wayne Grant came in for his first game and did quite well I thought.

“On Thursday we had a very long team meeting in which a few honest truths were said, every player’s lack of production was highlighted with stats and by observation.

“I said to them all what I’m looking for is a performance and we’ll go from there, so I’m happy that I got the performance, but the downside was a silly error and the one error today was enough to kill us.”

The Foxes did not have a mid-week game before they travel to Leyton on Saturday, which gave the boss time to tweak tactics.

Walton has already earmarked the areas that will need work during his side’s two training sessions this week and is hopeful they can turn that hard work into three points at Leyton Stadium.

“We’ll definitely be working on being more aggressive at attacking set pieces, because we had a lot today, and nothing came of them,” he said.

“They’ve drawn a lot of games, so it’s hard to know what to expect, but we’ll be looking to win.”

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