RICHARD Fey says the Chippenham Town management reminded their players where the exit door was if they weren’t prepared to prove their worth at Hardenhuish Park.
The Bluebirds responded from the Bideford debacle by salvaging some pride against title-chasers Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday.
But a gutsy performance wasn’t enough to prevent them conceding two goals early on and suffering another home defeat.
“We said to the players after the Bideford game that if they wanted to leave, they could go and we wouldn’t have any hard feelings,” said Fey.
“If they wanted to stay, we needed a reaction and they needed to show the fans they were worth being here.
“I think that we did get that. We provide everything for them and they know that it’s down to them to turn things around.”
After defender Mani Randhawa left to join Swindon Supermarine, Chippenham included two new defensive recruits in their squad against Hemel.
Greg Tindle, 23, was back in a Bluebirds’ shirt after rejoining the club from Calne Town while Cheltenham Town youngster Michael Gonzalo, 18, was on the bench after linking up with Chippenham on a month-long work experience loan.
Fey said: “We’ve wanted to get Greg back all season and he wanted to be back at this level again.
“Michael Gonzalo has also come in and Mark Yates (Cheltenham manager) speaks very highly of him.
“We were a bit disappointed that Mani left because he got a nasty hamstring injury, the club paid for his chiropractor and Nathan had done extra work with him to get him fit.”
Chippenham got off to a nightmare start when Danny May’s free-kick from deep somehow found its way into the net and then on seven minutes, the visitors’ Victor Osobu rifled into the top corner.
James Guthrie reduced the deficit with a low strike in the second period and in the dying moments, Luke Ballinger was denied the equaliser by a stunning save from Hemel goalie Michael Timms.