Ian Evatt has asked the entire Chesterfield squad to look themselves in the mirror and ask if they’re doing enough to get the club out of trouble, after a ‘heartbreaking’ defeat by Mansfield.
The centre-half made his long awaited comeback from a knee injury and put in a Man of the Match performance, but wasn’t able to inspire his side to victory at the Proact.
The Stags took all three points thanks to Mal Benning’s second half goal and left Town rooted to the bottom of League Two with five ‘cup finals’ remaining to save their Football League status.
A distraught Evatt challenged his team-mates in a raw, emotional post-match plea.
“It’s very hard to take. I don’t think either side deserved to win or lose, it had 0-0 written all over it,” he said.
“Little things are costing us at the minute, someone doesn’t track the runner and then it’s 1-0 and everyone’s heads are down.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s very rare I’m lost for words but today was a killer.
“No one in the squad can look at anyone else but themselves.
“Are we doing enough to get this club out of the mess?
“I can look at myself in the mirror and say I am, the staff can as well and certain players in the dressing room.
“I just hope everyone does the same and realises what it means, not only to their own careers but to the people that work at the club, the people who support the club.
“This club is a lot of people’s lives and we’ve got to play like our lives and their lives depend on it.
“It’s five cup finals and we’ve got to go out and win four of them.”
Evatt admits the reason Chesterfield find themselves so deep in the relegation mire is that the squad haven’t been up to the task since the season began.
He hopes the players will now be able to pull off what he believes is a ‘mammoth’ challenge.
“We haven’t been good enough all season, simple as that,” he said.
“You can look at off the field issues, whatever you want, but the facts are that this group of players, myself included, hasn’t been good enough.
“The frustrating thing is that you see performances like Notts County, Luton, so it is there.
“It’s just getting it out of the lads on a consistent basis.
“That’s not ability and talent, it’s just mindset and hard work.
“It’s a mammoth task now, we’ve got to win four out of the last five.
“Are we capable, yes? Will we do it? I’m not sure.
“I can only speak for myself and I will be doing all I can to make sure we do all we can to get out of this mess.”
In a stark warning to some of the youngsters in the Proact dressing room, Evatt said their chances of remaining Football League players are now hanging in the balance.
He said: “I just hope people go home and analyse their own performances, attitudes and ways of going about things the way I do.
“If you want to make it as as a footballer that’s what you have to do.
“I’ve had my career, I’ve played at the highest level, some of these lads if they go out of the league they might never get back.
“That’s what it’s got to mean.
“They’ve got to show that in their performances.”
The veteran is adamant that there’s still time to turn things around, but they will now have to pick up three points at Exeter on Tuesday night.
“Of course there’s time. Football always gives you a second chance, but at the minute we’re running out of them fast.
“We’ve got to go to Exeter and win, be positive and win,” added Evatt.