SHAUN BEELEY believes Fleetwood need to show their ugly side if they are to compete in League Two.
Town slumped to a second consecutive defeat against sides at the wrong end of the table against Barnet – after which boss Graham Alexander spent an hour sharing a few ‘home truths’ with his playing staff.
He branded the performance as ‘not up to professional standards’ – and Beeley believes the dressing room exchange will benefit Fleetwood.
“It was definitely needed,” he said. “The work the coaching staff put in during the week the players owe it to them and to ourselves.
“We need to produce better than that. We know in ourselves we are good footballers but we need to do the mucky side of the game better if we are to achieve what we need to.”
And Beeley admitted Town had failed to get the basics right both at Underhill and in their defeat at Home Park on Saturday.
He said:“Football is never the same, games are different but you’ve still got to do the basics.
“At the moment we’ve been lacking those basics.
“We’ve just had words with ourselves, we need to lift ourselves up because in a way we’re all proud footballers but it’s an embarrassment to be beaten like we were at Barnet.
“The gaffer works his socks off, he grafts all week. It was a reality check for us because we need to up our game and go from there.”
The full back believes Fleetwood have been guilty of going into games expecting to win – something he said the whole squad would need to put right in their remaining games.
He said: “Sometimes maybe we expect to win and that’s where we need to do the basics, the ugly side of the game. If we have to kick it, we have to kick it. If we have to head it, we have to head it. The pretty side, that will come, but not unless you do the ugly side of the game. We need to do that first.”
But, despite there being a six points gap between ninth placed Fleetwood and seventh placed Rotherham, Beeley believes there is still time for Fleetwood to rescue their promotion push – even if it means winning all of their remaining games.
“The belief is still there,” said Beeley. “We’ve got a great squad, the chairman is brilliant, he’ll back you all the way. It’s just about results. There are seven games left, that’s 21 points.
“We’ve just got to win all seven.”
Barnet’s second on Tuesday night came from a defensive howler in which Beeley and keeper Scott Davies collided inside the Town box.
It’s a horror show the full back didn’t see coming – but he insists the error shouldn’t mask a sub-standard all round display.
Beeley explained: “The ball’s come over, as I’ve looked Scott is charging out. I’ve had to keep an eye on the man to my left and we’re neither here or there.
“It’s a mistake between me and Scott. Who is to blame? It’s 50/50.
“We’ve just got to take it on the chin, we’ll learn a lesson for another day. But it doesn’t mask the fact the performance, overall, just wasn’t good enough.”
Town’s seven game bid to rescue their season will begin on Saturday when Dagenham and Redbridge visit Highbury.