NEWPORT County AFC manager Graham Coughlan slammed his players for 'not turning up' after an error-strewn performance in a 4-1 League Two hammering at Crawley Town.
The Exiles were overpowered in the second half at Broadfield Stadium after going in on level terms through Omar Bogle, who struck in the tenth minute after Nick Tsaroulla’s opener.
Adam Campbell scored twice after the restart and then Ben Gladwin drove in from distance on a miserable afternoon in the Sussex heat for County.
It has been an encouraging start to the campaign but Coughlan had to read the riot act in Crawley.
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“The better team won and we didn’t turn up. They were better than us all over the pitch, we made too many basic mistakes and just weren’t at it,” he admitted.
“It’s difficult for me to be stood here and give an honest assessment and what I said to the players will remain in the changing room. I wouldn’t like to repeat it.
“Crawley took their moments when they had them and we didn’t, while we helped them on the way with basic errors.
“We weren’t ourselves and you can’t give teams in this league a leg up, which we did today.
“Crawley were good and looked after the ball better than we did; we gave the ball away cheaply and had transitions which we are really good at.
“I thought it was going to be a game similar to Forest Green with the weather away from home and it panned out like that in the first 15 minutes when we had opportunities to transition quickly but we didn’t do it well.
“We didn’t look ourselves and the negative moments grew and grew, while the positive moments grew for Crawley.
“We didn’t turn up and that wasn’t us. We were poor, we have to lick our wounds and analyse why.”
Coughlan had a feisty exchange with referee Scott Tallis after the final whistle.
“It was about numerous decisions and about his overall performance and disrespect when he spoke to our players,” said the County boss. “I thought he was a level below and wasn’t his finest hour.
Midfielder Aaron Wildig missed the game after reporting a tight groin at training on Friday while a positive was 10 minutes in the closing stages for defender Declan Drysdale, his first action of the season after a hamstring injury.
“It’s about building his training days up, building him up and getting him some match minutes, maybe in a reserve match,” said Coughlan.