It’s been another week of bizarre drama for Mark Shaw and Worksop Town Football Club.
Last week he had to deal with a player refusing to take his place on the bench, and things haven’t got any easier this week.
First, with a pair of centre-halves injured, another - Ross Henshaw - was thrown to the ground twice in violent scenes that marred Saturday’s FA Cup clash, and then himself sent off, much to Worksop’s bemusement.
And it was confirmed on Tuesday that striker Shaq McKenzie has left Tigers to join Sheffield FC, having become unsettled due to what Shaw called ‘untrue rumours’ that came from outside the club.
Expressing his anger at the McKenzie situation, Shaw told the Guardian: “Shaq has left the club, not because of a football reason or a financial reason, but because of a story that has unsettled him, a story that has come from outside the club that we know isn’t true.”
McKenzie rejoined Worksop in the summer, having left early in 2014.
While the Guardian can’t report the nature of the rumours that have reportedly unsettled the 21-year-old, Shaw said they called into question the integrity of the football club.
“The integrity of thise club is of the highest level,” he said.
“The supporters treat the players like heroes, the staff and committee treat them with respect and do their best for the players.
“When outside sources make up rumours that aren’t true, it’s very disappointing and it’s upsetting, it hurts.”
The move to Sheffield might take McKenzie back into the Evo-Stik League, but Shaw isn’t convinced it’s the right option for the forward.
“It’s a backward step, in my opinion,” he added.
Shaw has confirmed that Worksop are appealing Henshaw’s red card, and awaiting results of a scan on Sam Liversidge’s knee.
“We’ve got to get our evidence in because we’re definitely appealing – Ross has been the victim of violent conduct twice, neither of the players responsible have been sent off, the number seven has because he’s smashed Jake Scott, and then Ross has been sent off.
“He’s been harshly treated, I think the referee has tried to even it up.”
Despite the injuries to Liversidge and Jamie Hadfield, and the departures of McKenzie and Jono Wafula, Shaw is only in the market for a new striker.
“I’m not thinking about bringing anyone in (defensively).
“We’re looking at centre forward options but we’re happy with the squad - Jordan Cooke has come in at the back, Hadfield will be back soon and Jack Barnett did well on Tuesday, which shows the strength we have.
“By bringing someone else in it could make us even more disjointed.”