Simon Wormull said a Thursday night get together helped his preparations as emergency coach of Lewes Football Club following the dramatic developments of the past week.
Wormull this week stepped up from under 18 duties to share those of running the Rooks’ 1st team with Paul Booth and Justin Skinner, following Steve King’s shock suspension as first team manager on Wednesday night.
And he said: “Obviously it’s a difficult situation, isn’t it? Even though you know a lot of the players, with the situation you’re coming into, it’s a bit fragile.
“But we had a training session Thursday. It was great, we got everyone together – which was important to be honest because it would have been difficult coming into today without even meeting half the boys.
“But I can’t fault their effort. It was a heavy pitch today; we didn’t play particularly well in the first half and probably worked harder than we should have done, and that, I suppose, took its toll on us.
“Obviously we came in at the end of the first half 1-0 up, (but) we probably didn’t actually play very well to be honest, we gave the ball away too much.
“But then, second half we tightened it up and actually did quite well and played some good football. But a lapse of concentration let them in from a throw-in and it’s 1-1, and it’s one of those things where you feel like it’s a defeat really.”
Wormull refused to complain about the visitors stealing a few yards from the throw-in that led to their equaliser. “Yeah, but you can’t moan about that, that happens all through the game. It’s about us reacting to it – the ball’s gone out, (players should be thinking) “where’s my man”, you react to stuff like that – that’s the difference between stopping the goal and winning the game 1-0. But they’re disappointed and I’m disappointed for them because for their second half showing they deserved to win the game.”
Lewes had their chances to double their lead, which would have killed off the game. The most glaring opportunity missed was a Michael Malcolm effort slashed over the bar midway through the second half.
“That’s what we just said to the guys, that’s the difference between winning a game and drawing it,” said Wormull.
“Some of the guys are obviously lacking in minutes so it’s a matter of getting fitness levels up. But you saw in the second half a lot of confidence – we played spme good stuff and when we did pass the ball we tore them apart.
“Football is a confidence game and if we can get these guys buzzing again the only way is up for them really.
“Like I’ve said to a lot of people today, for the footballers it’s just about going out onto the pitch. They don’t need to get involved in anything off the pitch. They need just to concentrate on what they’re doing and what they’re contributing to the team for Lewes. (And) it was fine – I was happy with their application and attitude and everything. It’s just the result didn’t follow it unfortunately.”
Wormull notably had a full selection of replacements in the dugour, after the Rooks subs’ bench for recent games had featured no more than three players and on occasion only two. King had been criticised in some quarters for not picking more under 18 players for the 1st team subs’ bench, although to be fair to King, he did want to select both Bayan Fenwick and Max Howell for the New Year’s Even match at the Met Police, but both were unavailable.
Wormull obviously knows the youth team players at the club well, having been brought in at the start of the season by King to run the U18s. When asked after today’s game whether any more players other than Howell and Fenwick could feature more on in the first team squad, he said: “Well, Charlie Leach was on the bench today and we’ve got people like Layton Schaaf as well.
“I mean, these guys aren’t going to be playing regularly, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to get in the (first team) environment, to get to know some of the boys as well.
“And they’ll learn from that – even from the training the other night, the two young boys admitted how fast it was compared to under 18 football.
“So if we can get them in that environment and get them used to it, it’s only going to improve them as well. So it’s plusses all the way round.”
With so much uncertainty surrounding the club because of the past week’s developments, it’s not even clear who will be in charge for the Rooks’ midweek Ryman Cup quarter final clash with AFC Sudbury, again at the Pan (Wednesday, kick off 7.45pm).
“I’ll speak to the Board, they’ll let me know what’s going on today, and if they need me to do Wednesday’s game, and it’s just from there at the moment,” said Wormull.
“But the experience (today) was fantastic, the reception was great. It’s just a shame we couldn’t give them the three points.”