Darren Murphy admits he stepped out of his comfort zone by publicly criticising his players last week – but has backed them to deliver in the Premiership.
A 3-0 defeat to Coleraine prompted an uncharacteristic outburst from the Dungannon Swifts boss.
Murphy admits he was left “hurt” by a supine performance from his players – one that has left them second bottom in the Premiership table.
But ahead of Saturday’s basement clash with Warrenpoint Town at Milltown, Murphy has backed his players to respond.
“I believe in the 21 players I have at this club. They all work hard and I am friendly with them all. I would like to think they are on my side,” he said.
“Do I think they are good enough to make an impact in the Premiership? One hundreds per cent, I do.
“But they can’t just turn up and expect to win games. We need to fight and scrap and give it everything.”
Reflecting on the defeat to Coleraine, Murphy added: “Last week was a tough one to take. There was no hiding from last week’s performance.
“In my three-and-half-years at Dungannon I don’t think I have publicly criticised my players, but last week was a low ebb for me.
“The simple fact is we didn’t put in any effort, and that hurt me. I can only do as much as I can, and the club can do only as much as it can. The players have to go out and perform, and last week there was no hunger.
“That was the disappointing thing, and it was evident to everyone who was watching the game.
“People say that players win games, and managers lose games. But I don’t subscribe to that. Sometimes players have to be accountable for their actions and performances.
“Last Saturday I picked the best 11 I could. I picked a 4-4-2 formation with players comfortable in their positions. Any excuses for a poor performance were minimal.
“Seven or eight of the lads didn’t perform, and when that happens you will never win football matches.”