ACCRINGTON Stanley’s record buy Ian Craney knows the players owe the fans a huge performance tomorrow.
The Reds are still reeling after their 8-2 thumping by play-off chasing Peterborough on Tuesday night.
And they need to bounce back tomorrow against in-form Brentford to give the loyal Stanley supporters some cheer after three defeats in four league games - and 15 goals conceded.
"It was horrible," said the 25-year-old who signed permanently again for the Reds for £85,000 earlier this month.
"It was embarrassing for the players, the fans and anyone to do with Accrington.
"It was the worst defeat I have ever been involved in because we conceded bad goals.
"When you are playing in games like that, it is so frustrating and I felt close to tears. I couldn’t believe what was happening.
"Now we have got to give the fans something to smile about and we have a point to prove.
"We know the defending wasn’t good enough and we are trying not to dwell on it and move on.
"We have got to forget about that game now however hard it is.
"We have got to get our heads right and made sure we put on a good performance, especially for the fans."
The midfielder continued: "We have got a good squad here and when I first came on loan this season we were confident and picking up results. These last three games have been disappointing to say the least and we should have got more than one point from them.
"But we have got to start believing in ourselves again and get our confidence back.
"We know we can always score goals - that isn’t really a problem - but we have got to tighten up at the back.
"The good thing about football is that there is another game soon after where you can put things right and this will hopefully happen tomorrow."
Stanley are currently in mid-table - 10 points off the play-off spots - but they have not yet won in 2008. And they face a Bees side for the first time in their recent history who are buzzing after four straight wins and a climb up the table under new boss Andy Scott.
But Craney remained optimistic: "You look at the league and if we can string some wins together we can still move up towards the play-offs.
"I think the aim now is to try and get a top 10 placing and get some consistency.
"Last season we escaped relegation and now we are looking upwards and have taken a step forward.
"I still believe that the squad we have here now is stronger than the one we had last season and it is a confidence thing. We have got to get that belief back."
Boss John Coleman was hoping to sign a central defender but hadn’t by the time the Observer went to press.
He snapped up left back Mark King last Friday from Blackburn Rovers until the end of the season and has been impressed with his contribution so far.
"He is one of the best passers of the ball defensively I have seen in a long time and he will only get better once he gets to know the players," said the Reds chief.
But Coleman admitted the worst defeat in his managerial career hit him hard.
"We will find out tomorrow what kind of character we have," he said.
"If I was the players I would want to play and I can’t wait for the game to come.
"I am not the type of person who crawls into a corner and I will stick my chest out and I will deal with everything because that is my way.
"We were given a lesson in finishing and it has given me a good notification of where I need to strengthen my squad.
"I have made no secret of the fact I am not happy with the defence and I will do my best to do something about it.
"I will not criticise individuals and I will take full responsibility as I pick the team and train them.
"There won’t be any knee jerk reaction and any decisions won’t be made on Tuesday’s performance but will be made on what we have seen over a period of games.
"But for as long as I can remember every time we have had a heavy defeat, we have bounced back with a win and hopefully this trend will continue tomorrow."
Coleman has options to change his squad with players like defender Graham Branch, midfielder David Brown and winger John Miles who have all been out of the squad in recent weeks.
Defender Leam Richardson missed Tuesday’s game through illness but is expected to be fit tomorrow.
* STANLEY reserves face Carlisle away next Wednesday (ko 7pm). Their home clash with More-cambe this week was postponed.