'I probably criticised them too much' - Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson takes blame for dramatic drop in Wessex League Premier form

Shaun Wilkinson shouldered all the responsibility for Baffins' Milton Rovers' second half of the season slump in the wake of their 5-0 home Wessex League Premier thumping by high-flying Shaftesbury.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 12:02 pm
Baffins boss Shaun Wilkinson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080820-18)
Baffins boss Shaun Wilkinson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080820-18)

And the Baffins boss admitted his ‘public criticism’ of the players in a bid to rouse a response on various occasions during dips in form has badly ‘back-fired’.

Wilkinson's men were hammered 5-0 at the PMC Stadium by third-placed Shaftesbury last night to make it nine defeats in their previous 14 league outings.

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Yet Wilkinson is refusing to point the finger at his players after what has been a wretched run of form on the back of such a flying start to the season.

Instead, he believes it's been his psychological management methods which have contributed to his side's downfall this term.

The Baffins boss said: ‘We look a spent force at the minute, to be honest. I take the blame for how we've fallen away, it's solely me to blame for that.

‘When we had a bad spell, the first bad spell, I probably publicly criticised them too much.

‘I was looking for a reaction, for them to show me that I was wrong – a few mind games sort of thing – it probably back-fired.

‘I tried to provoke them with what gave me a reaction when I played - I was forever having manager's scream in my face - which worked for me.

‘Today's players, I call them 3G footballers, they're brought up on 3G surfaces, you can't shout at them - the bottom lip goes - they need an arm around them, they need a cuddle, but that's the society of today.’

The first of Baffins' final three Wessex Premier games this term comes at second-bottom Hythe & Dibden on Saturday.

But Wilkinson stressed it should not be all doom and gloom when assessing what has proven a roller-coaster of a season for the club.

He added: ‘Off the pitch, the club is progressing - I'd say we're better than we were last year - but really disappointed in the way we've fallen away.

‘We raised the profile of the club by the way we started. The pre-season schedule we had, we’ve brought in a really good media team, they've raised the profile of the club, we started really well and we’re probably seen as a big local side now.’