Steve Chettle says Notts County’s players need to improve quickly after Saturday’s defeat to Cheltenham saw them slip back into the Sky Bet League Two relegation places.
Two goals from Luke Varney and one from Tyrone Barnett moved the Robins out of the drop zone at the Magpies’ expense on a disappointing afternoon at Meadow Lane.
And the caretaker boss says Notts simply have to improve if the club are to move up the table.
“We have to get better very quickly because this is real now,” said Chettle.
“Performances like that are very concerning and we’re in a dogfight. The players need to grit their teeth, roll up their sleeves and pull their socks up to get out of the position we’re in.
“We’re all here representing Notts County and they have to stand shoulder to shoulder and fight with everything they can for this football club.”
Chettle says he held nothing back when delivering his post-match team talk.
“I’ve spilled my heart out in the changing rooms and told them it’s not acceptable,” he revealed.
“We’ve told them not to just sit and accept what happened out there. They need to speak their minds and if they have something to say, then say it.
“We’re all men. We’ve got to stick our chests out and our chins up and work out how this can get better.
"If that means personal criticism then that’s fine because that is the industry we’re in.”