ANTHONY O’Connor today brushed away the excuses for City’s sloppy start and warned: If you don’t fancy the fight, then go now.

The vice-captain has delivered a hard-hitting verdict in the wake of Saturday’s awful home defeat against Wycombe.

That followed a week on from a similarly rotten display at Southend and O’Connor believes it is time to stop pulling punches.

He said: “I’ve got to call a spade a spade. We’re a poor team at the minute.

“We’ve got good players but we’re playing like we don’t know each other. We’re playing like a bunch of individuals.

“We’re not going out there fighting for the badge. People are not showing enough pride in their own performance.”

Fans vented their frustration at Valley Parade at the weekend following City’s third loss in the opening five games. O’Connor has no sympathy for those in the team currently struggling to live up to their surroundings.

“It’s different to other clubs in the league. If you play at places that only get 3,000-4,000 you could probably get away with some of the stuff that we can’t.

“Some players can fold under the pressure of a big crowd. But if you’re going to do that, then you might as well not be here.

“Go into the manager now, hand in your bags and say ‘I don’t fancy being at this club because I can’t handle it.’

“If that’s the way you feel then just go. All the best to you and good luck at your next club.

“Don’t be at this football club if you’re not up for the fight.”

The centre half has been the most consistent of the influx of summer signings but admits there are not enough doing themselves justice.

“Sometimes it just comes down to personal pride in your performance,” he added.

“I go onto the pitch thinking that not only am I going to do my best for my team-mates but I want to prove I’m the best defender out there.

“Some people aren’t going out doing that. They’re just going through the motions.

“You have to take pride in your performance. If you play well, it rubs off on the rest of the team.

“We’re only five games into the season but the fans are probably sick of hearing players apologising already. If you’re more talk than action, then you’re just wasting your time.

“There are good players here on paper but that means nothing in this league. Nobody’s going to look at the names and think ‘they’re going to walk all over us’.

“You don’t get any respect and that’s what happened against Wycombe on Saturday. It was the same at Southend.

“As soon as things weren’t going our way, it was as if some people just threw the towel in and didn’t fancy it.

“Something’s got to change and something’s got to be said – I don’t care if it’s got to come from me, from the manager or some of the older ones at the club.

“We’re just not performing and it’s not good enough, especially if you want to play for this football club.”

And O’Connor insists that head coach Michael Collins should not be taking the flak for his team’s current shortcomings.

He said: “We’re letting him down, make no bones about it. The manager cannot come on the pitch and run around for you.

“He puts everything into it during the week, sets us up how he wants us to play – and then we give him that at the weekend.

“The way football is, the manager gets the backlash. It’s not fair.

“He’s a workhorse on the training ground and I really want him to do well. But undoubtedly we have to do well for him and something has got to change.”