Following our 3-1 defeat away at Poole Town last night, the gaffer pulled no punches as he reflected on the game and promised changes,
“During the first half, we conducted our game plan to a tee in terms of limiting Poole’s opportunities by playing a specific way that we’ve been looking to adopt away from home. But after edging our noses in front, we showed what I believe to be psychological weakness to concede so soon after going ahead when it was so important just to keep ourselves in the lead until half time. The wind was extremely strong in the first half and myself and the management team thought that if we could go in on level terms, it would set us up well in the second half. But after a good opening five minutes of the second half where we had two good chances, I have to say the second 45 was a poor display and lacked quality, identity and any real threat posed on the Poole goal.
Poole are a good side, they’ll be in or around the play-offs for sure. You can see why they’ve been on a run like they have recently but it’s very frustrating. We can argue and point to how many players we had missing last night, but when players are missing it’s an opportunity for others to show what they can do and it’s an opportunity for them to shine. With so many key players missing, such as our captain Joe, vice captain Max, goalkeeper Denzel, Taurean Roberts, Jack Battie and Robb Sheridan, you look at that and think it’s a time for the others to take their chance and step up and to be honest, they didn’t do that last night.
For me there were two players that could hold their heads up high after last night. Our new signing Gradi who I thought was excellent for the 90 minutes and Harry Mills, who had the armband. I thought Harry in particular was absolutely exceptional last night. Gradi and Harry can hold their heads up high today after performing excellently for 90 minutes and showing great levels of concentration, especially having to head and kick so many balls that were put down their throats for 90 minutes.
It was tough to take last night but again it’s about moving forward and remaining positive. We’ve got two very important home games coming up in the league, in which you will definitely see a reaction. In the next 48 hours I’m looking to bring three or four new bodies in through the door. As I stressed to the players yesterday, with others unavailable it was an opportunity for them to shine and they just didn’t take that opportunity. And as I told them in the changing room after the game, play to the details and the specific technical and tactical instructions I give you, otherwise this relationship just won’t work. In the case of some players, this will be the end of them at this football club because I want players that not only want to better themselves, but who will listen to what’s said and will take on board specific instructions and in that last 30 minutes last night, the players didn’t carry out any of the instructions or show any real unity. As a result, we totally deserved to get beaten.
So you will see a reaction, you will see new players through the door and you’ll see a few leaving. One thing I think I’ve shown this year is loyalty and I’ll show the new players the same when they come through the door and I’ll give them an opportunity. But like anyone at this club, they’ll have to prove their worth.
We have a massive week coming up and all I ask is that you come and get behind the boys, starting with top of the league Taunton on Saturday.