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Wingate boss questions players' attitude after tame home defeat

PUBLISHED: 10:42 18 February 2013 | UPDATED: 12:08 18 February 2013

Wingate & Finchley manager Gary Meakin

Wingate & Finchley manager Gary Meakin

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Wingate manager Gary Meakin believes his side "got what they deserved" following Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Bury Town in the Ryman Premier League.

The result leaves the Blues just three points and three places above the relegation zone and Meakin, who revealed his side’s preparations were “not ideal”, questioned the collective attitude of his players.

The Wingate boss withdrew Scott Shulton after 28 minutes and stated after the game that he made the decision because the player “didn’t look like he wanted to be there”.

Meakin told Ham&High Sport: “I thought it would act as a warning to other players. After this game I’ll apologise to the player because he was not the only one. By half-time I could have picked names out of a hat and taken off anyone in the team.

“I can understand mistakes but our work-rate and desire to be better than the opposition were not there. If you do not do the basics you will not win games. We got what we deserved and we were lucky to lose 3-1. It could have been much worse.”

The home side, who were static in defence throughout, were undone after 11 minutes when Russell Shorts’ cross found the impressive John Sands, whose well-placed header found the net.

Sands, who previously had a trial at Cambridge United, scored his 22nd goal of the season when he pounced on hesitant Wingate defending to double his sides’ lead with an accomplished finish after 31 minutes.

Yet, for all their faults, Wingate halved the deficit with a well-crafted goal as new signing Spencer Bellotti turned and fired past the helpless Marcus Garnam after 66 minutes.

That should have been the catalyst for a revival, but the hosts did not appear to believe that they could regain the initiative and wrestle control of the contest, and Meakin said: “At 2-1 we got back into the match, but it was a false score. I didn’t feel we were going to get something from the game.”

The home boss proved to be correct as the visitors struck just five minutes later to restore their two-goal advantage as Craig Parker was left with time and space to pick his spot as the hosts’ defence dozed once more.

To add salt to Wingate’s wounds, Meakin had already made all three of his substitutions when Ronayne Marsh-Brown was injured 15 minutes from time, leaving the hosts with 10 men for the final period.

One of the few bright sparks for the hosts were the efforts of Bellotti and Daniel Brown.

Meakin said of the latter: “He [Brown] has been excellent, which is why we had an approach from Staines for the player.

“He is an honest enough lad. The approach may have unsettled him a bit, I don’t know, but he’s here now and he’ll always give 100 per cent for whoever he plays for.”

Despite the defeat and the ongoing threat of relegation, Meakin says he is relishing his role with the Blues and is confident of avoiding the drop – having saved Hillingdon Borough from the trap door in his first managerial role.

He said: “I’m enjoying my time at Wingate. It’s hard work, but I’m confident we can survive.”

Follow Adam Corre on Twitter @AdamCorre

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