Marcus Law pulled few punches in his assessment of Kettering Town’s performance, despite them claiming a 2-1 Boxing Day success at rock-bottom Bedworth United.
Adam Cunnington’s first goal since returning to the club and a second-half strike from Rhys Hoenes proved to be enough to secure the Poppies’ 15th win of the season in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.
But they were forced to hold on at the end after James Hancocks had given the hosts some late hope with Bedworth also having a stoppage-time effort ruled out for offside.
The win ensured Kettering remain four points behind leaders Stourbridge with three games in hand.
But, having seen the same starting line-up secure a 5-0 victory over Hitchin Town just four days earlier, boss Law was far from impressed with his team’s display, which he described as “awful”.
The Poppies are now gearing up for a tough test at third-placed King’s Lynn Town while the big New Year’s Day derby clash with AFC Rushden & Diamonds, who are fourth, is also looming.
And Law admitted there is a lot for him to think about ahead of those crucial encounters.
“I would think the only people who suffered were those who were of a Kettering persuasion who came along to the game to be entertained,” the Poppies boss said.
“I played the same team as Saturday and, for whatever reason, we were awful.
“I thought about making changes but that team warranted it after a good performance at the weekend.
“I think this is where it becomes difficult for managers because we have gone from playing a team who are near the top of the form table and beating them pretty convincingly and then, with the same 11, we have really, really struggled against the team at the bottom of the league, who, in fairness, made it difficult for us.
“We changed the shape during the game to try to ignite something but we just struggled.
“Half-time probably came at a good time for us and we regrouped.
“I thought we actually started the second half well and got the reward with the second goal but, from there, the performance wasn’t up to scratch.
“It’s the sort of day that makes you look at it and ask yourself whether you are in a results business or a performance business and I suppose, on this day, we can say we got the result we wanted.
“Ultimately, points on the board are what we will be judged on but I am not overly happy with what we produced performance-wise.
“As a manager I have to look at why, where and how and then look at what we can do to improve things for the next game.
“We have to remember we are dealing with human beings and we are all different from day-to-day.
“We have got to look at why yesterday was the way it was. We got the result we wanted but we know the performance wasn’t good enough.”