Gary Elphick admits Worthing Football Club’s current form is giving him sleepness nights but says he wants to be the man to turn things around.
Worthing are bottom and without a point in the Bostik League Premier Division after five games, as a 3-2 defeat at Thurrock on Friday was followed by a 4-1 loss at Burgess Hill on Monday.
Boss Elphick played both matches but now says his focus is on managing and has hung up his boots.
He hopes to make a couple of signings ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Dorking Wanderers and said: “I’m hoping to bring two players in but that will depend on if I’m given the chance with our poor recent form.
“On and off the pitch, it’s a tough time for the club but I’m doing my best to put things right.
“We lost a group of talented players, who have gone on to bigger and better things but you just need to look at our results since Omar Bugiel left and that tells a story.
“No disrespect to Sussex but there’s not a great talent pool of players here. We’re in competition with Eastbourne Borough one way and Bognor, Havant and Eastleigh the other way. That’s the reality.
“We’ve got to try to stay up this year. It might be a case of going with youngsters this year so they can learn and progress and then the club will be better for it in a year or two but I’m looking to bring in some experienced players to help.
“Things aren’t great on and off the pitch but I don’t want to run away. I want to do everything I can to turn things around and hopefully the club will give me the time to do that.
“It’s not a nice situation we’re in at the moment and I don’t sleep at night, it really does affect your life. But I’ve been used to putting out fires during my time in football.
“At Eastbourne Borough, we stayed up in the Conference for a few seasons. We’d go through spells of not winning for a while and you just have to re-group and go again.
“I’ve got enough battling qualities. People may be questioning my ability as a manager at the moment and it’s up to me to answer them.”
Elphick scored an own goal in the defeat at Burgess Hill and on ending his playing career, said: “I’ve got to stop playing as I need to manage because I’m doing too much.
“I’d rather play a youngster who can learn out there, so I can concentrate on managing as I need to be in the dugout.”
Tony Garrod opened the scoring after just four minutes yesterday, while Guy Bolton’s long-range screamer made it 2-0 after just seven minutes.
Ben Pope’s header got a goal back two minutes later but Elphick’s own goal on 63 minutes and then Lee Harding’s header late on sealed all three points for Hillians.
Elphick said: “We conceded a really bad goal early on, which we’ve done far too often this season, and it left us with a mountain to climb.
“At 2-1, I felt we were the better team but after they went 3-1 ahead we lost our way and some players threw the towel in and didn’t play for the badge.