MANAGERS are finding it increasingly hard to be ruthless on underperforming players due to a cultural change that has seen footballers take criticism personally.

That’s the view of Swindon Town midfielder Kyle Bennett – who was voted Town’s player of the match on Monday as Richie Wellens’ side were booed off the field following a 2-1 home defeat to Crewe Alexandra.

Bennett, 28, is one of two players in Town’s current squad that can call the Town boss a former team mate having played with the 39-year-old at Doncaster Rovers four seasons ago.

Wellens stated after Monday’s performance that he will be ruthless this summer, and not hold back from completely overhauling the club’s current squad.

While Bennett takes motivation from individual discussions, he believes a change in upbringing for the new generation of footballers is making it increasingly hard for managers to be blunt but true with players when performance levels need improving.

He said: “Since I’ve been playing, culture has changed a little bit.

“You can’t be as honest with players, because people don’t take it the right way. When I was coming through as a young player, it was a bit more ruthless and players didn’t take criticism personally. “You could say things to players and not get a certain reaction – players then would just get on with it and do things for the better.

“We need to address that, have a good pre-season and get fitter – because there is no doubt that we have the talent to get out of this league.

“In previous years, you had some horrible people playing – not as people but when they crossed that white line.

“They’re not going out to hurt, but they want to win. I’m not saying we don’t have winners in this team, but we need to drag that winning mentality out of a few players.”

Bennett – who will remain at Town until the end of the season – said his teammates were caught out by Crewe’s game plan and deserved to end the 90 minutes pointless.

The former Portsmouth man pinned a below-par work ethic throughout the game did little to help Town’s cause.

He added: “Crewe have come with a game plan, and it was a bit unexpected. We allowed them to play better than they are, and what they did to us is what we’re used to doing to teams.

“It’s frustrating, I don’t think the work ethic was there like it has been in the last few weeks during the first half.

“We came in at half time and the manager gave us a rocket, and rightly so. We had a better second half, we pressed them harder and forced them into mistakes which is how we got back into the game.

“We couldn’t find equaliser, but looking at the game we definitely didn’t deserve to win it.”