Sean McConville says he understands the frustration of the fans after Tuesday’s loss at Burton Albion – but home truths have been told and he is determined that Accrington Stanley will not give up their League One status without a fight.
The winger knows the 4-0 defeat was ‘way way below par’ and said the fans had every right to get on their backs for the performance at the Pirelli Stadium.
Stanley have only won two of their last 12 League One games and have lost three on bounce. They are currently 17th in the table, with Saturday’s opponents Lincoln one place above.
“It hurts me, it hurts the manager, it hurts everyone,” said the 32-year-old.
“To get yourself out of this run, you need everyone to be feeling it the same, everyone feels the pain of losing games, everyone feels the pain of not picking up points and everyone feels the pain of the fans travelling in their numbers and getting a performance which was way way below par on Tuesday.
“We have all got to feel it, everyone has to look at themselves and ask if they are doing enough on and off the field and we have got to come out fighting.
“That’s the only way we are going to turn the corner, working hard, fighting hard and match that with other little things.
“We analysed a few things yesterday and we came out of the meeting and thought ‘let’s be positive today’ and let’s look at Lincoln and try and stop this barren run we are on and move forward.
“We need to be streetwise, we have been a little naive at times, especially defensively, but we defend as a whole.
“We need to tighten it up and we need to keep the ball going one way, teams can’t score if we have the ball.
“We need to be better at keeping the ball going forward, have more sustained play in the opposition’s half, and defensively that will take care of itself.”
As one of the more experienced heads in the dressing room, McConville has been on these runs before at Accrington and knows he has a big part to play in getting the Reds out of it.
“During my time here, we know when the manager is not happy and we know how to change that. The biggest thing we need now is positivity around the place because that will put us on a run which will see us move up the league.
“We need to be positive, there is no point moping around and there is no one worse than myself for losing games and being unhappy but you have got to put it to bed because the games come thick and fast in this league and we need to get out of this run.
“As one of the experienced players, we have been on barren spells before, we have been on good spells too, and as quickly as you can go on a barren run, you can go on a good run.
“If we win at Lincoln, I know what this club is like, we can go four or five games unbeaten and climb the league but we need to arrest the slide.
“Tuesday night was way way off it and it was the first time I have seen our fans turn on us and rightly so. They have stuck by us through thick and thin and I have been here many times when we have got beat but have had a go and you go over and clap them and they respond. But on Tuesday they saw a performance which was un-Accy like and we need to put that right.
“Players know that can’t happen again. The nature of the defeat, the lifelessness in us – we weren’t on the front foot, tackling, creating chances. If you create chances and lose our fans will clap you off, they can see you have had a go but if you don’t create chances and you are a soft touch at the other end, the fans have every right to vent their disappointment.
“They pay their hard earned money to travel to watch us. I would do the same if I was in their shoes. We need to put it right for them too.”
He admitted that the players have had an inquest themselves and know what they have to do.
“There was a big inquest in the dressing room after the game. Big questions were asked of certain players, everyone had to look at themselves and we had another meeting yesterday.
“We would like to think we have ironed one or two issues out which were lingering around the club and only time will tell.
“As a group we have to stick together, be together, when we pull the shirt on we have to run, fight and give everything we have got.
“We have worked really hard to get into this league and we are not going to give it up easily. I love this league, I love playing Sheffield Wednesdays, the big clubs, and I will be giving my all to make sure we are playing League One football next season.”
The full pre-match interview video with Sean McConville is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!