What’s your assessment of that defeat?
“The better side won. I don’t think there was a lot in it first half. We looked tired in body and mind in the second half, made some poor decisions that allowed them to build momentum. Really poor second goal from our point of view. We had the ball at the top of the pitch and gave it away, then gave it away a few more times, a mistimed tackle and an obvious finish of high class and quality from Che. We are chasing and having a go, but we leave ourselves open and Aaron has made some saves to keep the score down.”
Any complaints about the penalty?
“No, no I don’t think so. Not really had chance to look back it, but in real time it looked a penalty. It’s a fabulous ball and a great run and a bit of quality that we have not shown enough of this season. No disrespect, but we have a couple of players play out of position today, a new position today, and maybe got caught up a little bit, but it’s still a great ball and the pace has got him in behind Ethan has committed and made a challenge and the referee has made the decision.”
Where does this leave you now with 10 games to go, any part of you still feel this can be done?
“Just focusing on the next game and trying to get a result in the next game.”
Was the biggest disappointment today that you had an opportunity to come off the bottom and build on midweek but didn’t take it?
“Yep, well put, that’s exactly my thoughts and what I have talked about to the players – a great opportunity. There was nothing in the first half, we needed to find a bit of quality and sparkle, but we couldn’t find it. The quality from us in the second half was extremely poor and gave ball away cheaply. It just looked a game too far for us. I am looking at it now and thinking could I have made some changes, but unfortunately I can’t, there are not many options to make changes. We had to go with what we had but there seemed to be a lot of tired bodies and tired minds out there, especially second half.”
Enda Stevens has again struggled, does Ben Osborn come into your thinking for the next game?
“We look at every position. I don’t think it’s just Enda, majority of the players have produced poor performances through the season. They are honest and if you ask how they assess their season if you talk about successful seasons they are all looking at 7s, 8s and 9s but this season you are looking at 4s, 5s and 6s. That player of the year award at the end of the season is not going to be contested between six or seven players this time round. I am not being flippant about that, but that is it. Who played well today from our point of view? Which players stood out and took the opportunity? Not that many. The intensity of the decision as I have always said. When you don’t have a lot of the ball against Liverpool, down to 10 men for half an hour on Wednesday and then another tough Premier League fixture, even though people will not think it, I don’t get that. We have to have our best players out there, there can’t be that many changes and we have to have other players at the top of their form. I thought John Fleck was decent today, but the two other midfield players were chalk and cheese. I thought Didzy was excellent in midweek, but was off it today and there were others who I thought were excellent in midweek but off it today as well. You are scratching around at performances and when you are producing 4s and 5s you are not going to win. That was a difficult watch today for me, particularly second half.”
Was three games in six days given the injuries too much, was it one game too many?
“You hope it’s not, but when you look back and assess it that may be the case. There’s a temptation to change it around at the top of pitch and maybe I made the wrong decision. You are thinking Didzy played well in midweek and scored so can he go again? And Rhian did well in midweek, but not much option out there at the minute.I have said about the young kids, they are not ready to go on the pitch in that environment. That is not the answer and if it was I would.”
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