South Melbourne head coach Chris Taylor has questioned the attitude of some of his players following the club's elimination from the National Premier Leagues final series against Olympia FC on Saturday.
Olympia advanced to the next round of the NPL finals series after defeating South Melbourne 2-1 at Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne.
The Tasmanian outfit took the lead on three minutes through Lachlan Nichols before a Shpetim Mala own-goal doubled the away side's advantage.
A red card for Olympia midfielder Shae Hickey saw South Melbourne get back into the game, but despite Milos Lujic pulling one back the Victorian premiers were unable to find an equaliser.
Chris Taylor was furious with his side's performance just six days after they were defeated in the NPL Victoria Grand Final against Bentleigh Greens.
"We were pathetic in the first half," Taylor told FourFourTwo. "It's probably the worst display I've seen in the two and a half years since I've been here.
"We were woeful (in the) first half. We changed things around second half but they had a lot of character, they fought to the end and probably rode their luck.
"We had enough chances to win three games. That's the way football goes sometimes."
Captain Michael Eagar was a late withdrawal after going down in the warm-up but Taylor believes there's other reasons his player's performed so poorly.
"Some of them need to have a hard look at themselves. We work hard all year to get to a stage like that and then throw it away with a performance like that in the first half.
"Everything contributes to it but for me it was about attitude. Players were expecting to win the game before they even went out there and you can't do that, not at any level. It's a poor reflection on the preparations from some of our players."
"Bentleigh were a very good side last week and beat us and deserved to beat us, but today was a little bit different. We can only blame ourself for the poor performance.
It was poor defending, undisciplined play and in the end we had everything to do second half but we should have still come back but there's no excuses.
Taylor also admitted there will be some squad changes next season.
"We need to do a lot of reflection, soul-searching and work out what we want to do next year because some of these boys won't be here next year."
Photo credit: Matt Johnson