Rainworth boss Watts admits job is on the line

Rainworth manager Julian Watts - Pic By James Williamson
Rainworth manager Julian Watts - Pic By James Williamson

Manager Julian Watts says his job is in jeopardy unless there is a rapid upturn in Rainworth MW’s results.

The Wrens have lost four of their five opening games of their Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division season, including an opening day FA Cup defeat by Cleethorpes Town, and have conceded at least three goals in all five matches.

Now, in an interview with Mansfield 103.2 Radio’s Jason Harrison, recorded after Tuesday night’s home 5-1 defeat by Albion Sports and to be broadcast between 6-7pm tomorrow (Friday), Watts says that the time to make changes is now, because ‘if I don’t, the change that will be made could well be my job’.

He added: “It’s a harsh world, and there has to be a change in personnel.

“I have tried to stand by the players I have brought into the club because of what they can offer the team.

“But if players are making the same mistakes week in, week out, it’s back to scouting and bringing in new players, which we currently doing, because it’s a results-based business, and if I don’t make these decisions quickly it will be me getting my marching orders.

“We want to make it a success here at Rainworth, to improve and to keep on progressing. I love the club and everyone involved.

“It’s a great club to be at, I knew how good it was when I got the job, it’s a fantastic set-up.

“Last season Ady (assistant manager Ady Smith) and I put a team together from scratch, and we finished ninth which was probably about where we belonged.

“Our job from that was to push on and not take a backward step because that is not good enough for this club.”

In truth Tuesday’s 5-1 scoreline was harsh. With four minutes of the 90 to go the score was 2-1 and the Wrens were pushing hard for the equaliser, when in a counter attack another error at the back let in the visitors for their third goal, after which they struck again in the 90th minute and then the third and final minute of added time.

Watts admitted: “Three of those goals again came from our own simple errors.

“I say the same things before the game, during half-time, and after the game, that we must cut out the mistakes.

“We cannot afford to be so generous in this tough league. We are making it too easy for our opponents, and it was hard tonight on our goalkeeper Liam Kerry. He played really well and kept us in it against a very good side.”

Kerry had been brought in along with former Stags youngster Frazer Hampson to cover for suspended keeper Ben Townsend.

Hampson was harshly dismissed in only the third minute of Saturday’s 4-2 home defeat by Athersley Recreation, and was due to play on Tuesday but cried off with illness, so Kerry, who was already scheduled to play this weekend at Liversedge, came in one game early and, despite the result, produced a man of the match performance including a penalty save, although Albion scored from the rebound.

Watts continued: “The over-riding mood is one of frustration.

“You look at the fixtures when they come out, and judge where you are likely to pick up points, then suddenly you’re out of the Cup and have lost three of your four league games - and the way in which we are conceding just now makes every game that much harder.

“Even in the win at Retford when we were 2-0 up at half-time we let in four in a suicidal spell, although we were able to come back from that and win the game.

“Now we have Liversedge, and Cleethorpes again, to come, and both have made excellent starts, so there’s nothing easy coming up to help us out of our current problem.

“It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you get into a bad habit of losing games it becomes a long, hard season.”