Farnborough boss Spencer Day is looking at the loan market after too much "tippy-tappy football" contributed to his side's FA Cup exit
Angry Spencer Day vowed to make changes after his Farnborough side's midweek FA Cup replay debacle against Eastbourne Borough – starting with the return of a former favourite this week.
The Boro boss watched his men throw away the chance of a potentially lucrative cup run with a powderpuff performance in the 2-0 home defeat, after stalemate on the Sussex coast at the weekend.
And it proved to be the final straw for the frustrated chief, who revealed that the axe may now fall on certain members of his squad who he feels are not living up to their early-season expectation.
One man already brought in to help strengthen the side is former striker Phil Page, who arrives at the club for a third spell having proved a hit in the lower leagues.
Work commitments forced Page to drop out of Conference South and turn out for Combined Counties side Mole Valley in the summer, but those circumstances have since changed and after scoring nine league goals for the Cobham-based side this season, he arrives with plenty of confidence.
Day, though, admitted that the blow of missing out on an FA Cup third qualifying round tie at Ebbsfleet United, and maybe beyond, had forced the club to cut its playing budget for the foreseeable future – and that could mean casualties ahead of Saturday's visit of Whitehawk.
He said: “We’ve got too many players under-performing and I’ve told them there will be changes.
"We need to cut the budget again and we will do. You never count on a cup run but when you don’t get one at all you have to be realistic.
“We make no apologies for cutting our cloth accordingly, the club must work within its means.
"We can’t afford expensive players that aren’t performing, particularly after we’ve had a bad start financially to the season.
"We’ll look at the loan market now. There are a number of bigger clubs who we get on particularly well with who are offering us players for nothing – not a whole host of them, maybe one, maybe two maximum.”
'Wouldn't have scored'
Of Page's return, Day added: “We’ve been playing too much ‘tippy-tappy football’ – square passes that don't get us anywhere. We’ve got to be more ruthless.
"Phil Page is back at the club, he's someone that will certainly have none of that nonsense – a big strapping lad, who has scored a ton of goals at the lower levels this season.
“He’s physical, he’s an athlete and he’s already proved himself at Conference South level. He’s probably everything we’ve not been for the last few games.”
If Boro's problems at the beginning of the season were converting chances then their inability to create over the two Eastbourne games will worry the boss even more.
Only two fine saves from Kevin Scriven to deny Simon Johnson earned Boro a second crack of the whip in a 0-0 draw at Priory Lane on Saturday, although his opposite number, Craig Ross, played his part too by keeping out Dan Bennett’s scorching effort.
Home advantage seemed to suit Day's men better on Tuesday night as they came flying out of the blocks, dominating the opening 20 minutes without creating anything in the way of clear-cut chances.
But after weathering the storm, Eastbourne slowly managed to get a foothold in the game and it was they who finally broke the deadlock in the tie after 140 minutes of football, when Reece Jones gave the ball away cheaply in the middle of the park, and Charlie Gorman threaded through to Darren Lok who slotted the ball past Scriven.
Day's response was to introduce the more attacking Tyrone Berry for Jones and he almost teed up an equaliser for Dave Tarpey on 65 minutes but the usual cool head ended up smashing the ball over the top from eight yards out.
And it proved crucial. Under a minute later, Lok broke the offside trap down the left, cut inside as Alan Inns slipped and squared for Chris Shepherd to sweep the ball home.
“I’ve got no complaints with the result,” Day added. “We completely controlled the game in the first 20 minutes but although we’ve got behind them four or five times we haven't really created a good, clear-cut opportunity.
“Eastbourne then nullified us and we gave away a very soft goal at the start of the second half and from then on there was no doubt about the result. We wouldn’t have scored if we played all night.”
FARNBOROUGH (replay): Scriven, Huggins, Bosch (James-Lewis 68), Jones (Berry 58), Inns, Doyle, Bennett, Laidler, Tarpey, Connolly, Donnelly. Subs: McGarry, Sinclar-Smith, Hope, Guaratto.
Ref: Nigel Lugg. Att: 332.