New FC Halifax Town boss Darren Kelly admitted his team’s 7-1 humbling at home to Cheltenham was an “embarrassing” result as his reign got off to the worst possible start.
Kelly was appointed on Thursday and took his place in the dugout, although youth team coach Steve Nichol selected the Town side.
Former Oldham boss Kelly admits there is a lot of work to do ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Altrincham.
“I’ve learnt a lot about the team, and I’m included in that because we all take responsibility,” he said.
“I haven’t worked with the team yet. Today is the first time I’ve seen them but that doesn’t get away from the fact that today was an embarrassing result.
“We all have to reflect on that and respond positively to that. We’ll be in training on Monday and doing a lot of work to prepare for Tuesday, but that was unacceptable.”
Kelly bemoaned Town’s whole display as they suffered their worst defeat in 12 years, conceding seven goals for the first time since the club reformed.
“I wasn’t impressed from start to finish,” he said.
“I thought we started slow. I’ve only come in Thursday and I haven’t seen the lads a lot.
“But in terms of the way I want to do things, it’s pretty much the opposite of what was on show today.
“But we’ll get there.”
The Town boss warned his squad must buck up their ideas, otherwise they face being shown the exit door.
“There are certain characters in there that gave their all,” he said.
“I wanted to get some positives to take into Tuesday, but at the minute, I can’t find any.
“But it’s up to everyone to reflect upon it and we all work extremely hard to put it right.
“If players aren’t willing to step up to the plate they’ll be left behind because I’m very ambitious and so are the people I work with.
“If people can’t match that, they’ll be left behind.”
Kelly is confident his side will not sink so low again and is aiming for the right response at Altrincham on Tuesday.
He said: “After the game you have a chat with the players, I tell them what I think.
“I like to think I’m very honest and up-front.
“Today’s performance was nowhere near good enough. It’s not going to happen again.
“Everyone, including myself, has got to have a long, hard look at themselves.
“The good thing is there’s a game on Tuesday night.
“I haven’t worked with the players yet so ideally I would’ve liked a full week of that.
“Hopefully today will hurt enough for the players to respond positively and get a result.”
Kelly praised Cheltenham’s performance, but didn’t see enough character from his side for his liking.
“All credit to Cheltenham, they were very good,” he added, “but I’m big into characters and when you go a goal, two or three down, it’s how you respond.
“For me, especially after the third goal, the heads went down.
“Mentally, it sucked the life out of some of the players and through that, physically, they were just gone.
“We need to do a lot of work in order to put things right.
“You can see what needs to be done, see the areas there needs to be improvement and we’ll work very hard to rectify that.”