Manager on the Saturday defeat
United manager Greg Abbott spoke to us about the Orient defeat shortly after full time on Saturday.
He said: “It’s another difficult one for us all to accept.
“I’ve just had twenty minutes upstairs on the radio listening to the comments and criticisms and there aren’t too many answers for them at the moment.
“The first 45 minutes of the game was the worst that I’ve seen ... and not just as a coach or as a manager but from my playing time as well. It was so far below the levels that everybody is looking for that it makes it very difficult to try to explain why it happened. We talk about staying in the game if we concede a goal, but we didn’t get anywhere near that.
"Our last two away games were terrific. We could have had six points, we certainly should have had four but we’ve come away with one. That’s football though. I think if we’d equalised by getting back to 4-4 in this one that I would still have been upset. We’re looking back at 45 minutes of football which was unacceptable and it ultimately cost us the game.
“What we are talking about here is men playing football for a living. People’s livelihoods are at stake, but you wouldn’t have thought that when you look at a performance like this. It’s a serious situation that we’re in and that’s why I spoke to them in the dressing room for 45 minutes, or whatever it was, after the game had finished. I’ve told them that I want to see them give their job the utmost priority when they come in next week. If that means making sacrifices and doing things differently then that’s what we will have to do.
“All of our best performances are away from home at the moment. The grumbles are really loud because they have seen what was another dire performance. I’d love to take responsibility for everything that happens and take all of that away from the dressing room, but we need everybody to stand up and be counted. We have all seen those goals and for once I think I was powerless to do anything about them. We had the ball in comfortable situations three times and then we’ve given it away. Seconds later it was in the back of our net.
“I’ve asked the players for their thoughts and they all know that there is no more room for apologies or for holding their hands up for individual mistakes. We just need to be doing it right. We need to get back to basics and make sure we’re tackling and stopping crosses, and doing the simple things. It’s annoying when you don’t see your players do that because that’s what their job is all about.
“I didn’t use Sean McGinty in the second half because I didn’t think it was fair to expose him to that. The two centre-backs who were on there have 850 games between them and, in my mind, they had to deal with it. The last two away games have been the best we have seen from Mike Edwards and Peter Murphy for a good while, so a performance like this one trips you up as a manager.
“The fourth goal was something you wouldn’t expect to see on a Sunday morning. If I watched my local pub team do that I’d be upset with them, so it’s horrible to see it from a professional side. I’ll have nightmares about that one for months to come."
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