BARNT Green Spartak boss GJ Singh says he feels like a punch bag being used by boxer Anthony Joshua following a disappointing end to the Midland League Division Two campaign.
The Lions have all but fell apart since their 6-3 after extra-time defeat to Alvis Sporting Club in the semi-finals of the Presidents Cup on April 1, losing their remaining five league fixtures on the bounce, all of which were at home.
During that run, Spartak have conceded 24 goals and scored just twice with their final game of the season being a 7-1 defeat to Fairfield Villa last night (Wednesday).
But the more worrying concern for Singh has been the inability to get a bare bones squad on the pitch, a problem which almost lead to the Spartak boss folding the club, especially after the 8-0 and 6-1 defeats to Smithswood Firs and Redditch Borough respectively.
“It’s been a nightmare end to the season since our semi-final defeat,” said a dejected Singh.
“I’m glad the season is over now as I just need a break from football for a few weeks to have a long think about our situation.
“At this present moment in time I feel completely beat up.
“I feel like I’m a punch bag being used by Anthony Joshua – that’s how bad I feel.
“I’m not losing my love for football but right now we have had a bit of a falling out and I need to step back and stop thinking about the sport.”
The 2016/17 season got off to a good start for Spartak as they lost just two of their opening ten league fixtures and looked as though they could be contenders for promotion.
However, with player departures and a string of injuries, the Lions fell away from the top and ended the season in a lowly 12th place after a run of just three wins in 14 outings since the turn of the New Year.
“I think this season has been a case of what could have been,” Singh said.
“We started well, had a half decent team and we were competitive in every game we played – even when we lost.
“In the FA Vase we only lost 1-0 to Cadbury Athletic and were edged out by the odd goal to Smithswood Firs and Fairfield Villa in the early stages of the season.
“We were not losing by big margins and we should have done better this season than what we have done.
“But major injuries to key players, losing our goalkeeper Raghban Ali and lack of commitment has killed us.
“I’m a firm believer we should have got to a cup final too which would have kept our season going instead of it free-falling into embarrassment.”
With the season now over and plenty of thinking to do, Singh told the Standard if everything works out he will sit down and have a complete overhaul of the squad to bring in fresh blood.
But the Spartak boss admitted he won’t be bringing in players who want to kick a ball around for fun.
“I want players who will be competitive at this level of football,” he added.
“I’m not one of those managers who will say the target is to finish mid-table.
“Our objective would be to be highly competitive and if we got off to a good start, only then can you start thinking about going for promotion.”