Guiseley v Altrincham – Angry Russ O’Neill Lions urged to bite back swiftly

Guiseley joint-manager Russ O'Neill Picture: Martin Rickett/PA
Guiseley joint-manager Russ O'Neill Picture: Martin Rickett/PA
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IT is all about actions and not words for Guiseley tomorrow.

That is the stark message from angry joint-manager Russ O’Neill towards the Lions players after watching them ‘roll over’ in a pitiful and embarrassingly one-sided 5-1 derby drubbing at the hands of Mark Bower’s Bradford Park Avenue on Boxing Day.

The chance of redemption arrives at the Horsfall Stadium on New Year’s Day, but before then, the wounded Lions must regroup and provide a response in tomorrow’s National League North game with fifth-placed Altrincham at Nethermoor.

A frank post-mortem was held into Tuesday’s events, with O’Neill having let it be known in no uncertain terms that a repeat will not be tolerated.

The poor show followed on the back of a similarly timid performance in the Lions’ surprise FA Trophy replay elimination at the hands of Lancaster City earlier this month and the management duo are not interested in hearing defiant rallying talk of a response from players – only deeds.

O’Neill said: “In the grand scheme of things we got beat up and we need to make sure we do not get beaten up on Saturday.

We cannot have a repeat of what happened against Bradford Park Avenue. But I said that against Lancaster and we have now had a repeat of it. We have to take that on the chin and see that it doesn’t happen.

Guiseley joint-manager, Russ O’Neill.

“We cannot have a repeat of what happened against Bradford Park Avenue. But I said that against Lancaster and we have now had a repeat of it. We have to take that on the chin and see that it doesn’t happen.

“We can talk and talk and talk and say what we want. But we have got to make it happen. We got done and rolled over against Lancaster and we have now got rolled over again.

“We have had our run in the FA Cup and people have highlighted that and we said to the lads before the game that we have put our stamp on the FA Cup this season, but we have not going in the league yet.

“It was an opportunity to do and pick it up against a top of-the-league team and they proved why they are top and we are not. End of.”

Honesty has been a byword in both O’Neill and co-manager Marcus Bignot’s dealings with the press during their time with the club, with neither ever likely to have glossed over Wednesday’s damaging events.

The pumped-up desire of Avenue, led by former Lions manager Bower and with a line-up containing a number of former Nethermoor favourites, exposed Guiseley’s failings starkly in the one-sided affair – on a day when visiting striker Jake Beesley helped himself to a handsome hat-trick.

Guiseley’s own lack of heart in comparison was the most damning aspect of he game, according to O’Neill, with the tone set by an early opener from ex-Lions player Oli Johnson.

Pulling no punches, O’Neill, who described the Lions’ meek efforts as a ‘bag of rubbish’, said: “It was absolutely devastating all around.

“From the first minute until the last, from 1 to 11, we got done by a team on the front foot who deserved the win.

“We started like a bag of rubbish. I could not dress anything up about the game. It pains me to say it and I hate to say it, but physically they ‘did’ us and wanted it more than us.”

Guiseley find themselves in 17th place in the table ahead of tomorrow’s game and with just a two-point buffer over the side currently occupying the final relegation spot in FC United of Manchester.

The Lions do have three games in hand on the Red Rebels, but a run of just one victory in their past seven league games has heightened the need for improvement.

The reverse fixture at Moss Lane ended in a 1-1 draw in late August with Andy Halls netting for Guiseley.

Leaders Avenue visit Boston United tomorrow.