Joint Worksop Town interim manager Kyle Jordan described Wednesday night’s 5-0 home hammering by Stamford as the promoted Tigers’ first reality check at NPL level.
A Worksop side missing some key players started well but seemed to fall apart after Stamford had Jack Keeble sent off on 20 minutes.
“This was probably the first major reality check on the level we are at now,” said Jordan.
“We need to shake the NCEL off as you can’t take your foot off it in this league, ever.
“I said before the game if we win tonight and win again on Saturday we could be in the top three. But we are clearly not quite there yet on this performance. It was a tough one.
WORKSOP HAMMERED AT HOME BY STAMFORD - REPORT
“The only positive tonight was for the first 15 minutes I actually thought we were the better side.
“I thought they were poor, we’d got them penned in.
“The crowd were up and I was thinking we were going to go and get something which my so naïve of me.
“But the sending-off changed things. I don’t know if we took something ff the gas or if they just upped it a notch.
“But from the sending-off there was only one team in it. They out-battled us and I thought they were brilliant.
“We told the lads they would have beaten them at anything – lane swimming, cross country running. It’s a massive reality check for me.”
Jordan said enforced changes were no excuse.
“There was no one in the team tonight that hadn’t played games at this level and been successful and played games at this level. We had a team out tonight that was good enough to compete,” he said.
“But something clearly wasn’t right tonight and we’ll have to brush ourselves down and have a think about Saturday.
“I felt for Gazza (Andrew Gascoigne) as he’s tried to get us playing but he’s not quite as fit as he possibly could be and we’ve had to flog him a bit in a two-man midfield to stick to what we were doing. But personnel-wise we didn’t have a great deal of options.”
Jordan said another positive on the night was a debut for U21 Tiger Harry Holland.
“It was difficult, but he’s gone on in a proper game of men’s football but he’s not been shy,” he said.
“He’s got on the ball and tried to be brave when some of our more experienced boys could have been better. Despite the circumstances, I hope he enjoyed it.”