Manager on the Saturday game
United manager Greg Abbott spoke to us about the 2-1 defeat at Brentford shortly after full time.
He said: “We come away feeling disappointed that we have nothing to show for having played well for long spells in this game. We’ve come to a tough place where we haven’t had the best of times in recent seasons and we’re looking at a situation where we should have got ourselves at least a point.
“We started well and we looked the better side, particularly at the start of the game, and we finished it strongly as well. The two goals they have scored have come from a little bit of laziness in our defending in set-piece situations. The players involved know who they should have been marking, but we have still gone on to create really good chances and if we had perhaps been a little bit more clinical we would even be looking at three points.
“Overall we have defended well. I can’t be too critical, other than for the two corners, because they have dealt with everything that has been thrown at them. At the other end we have got to score when we are on top and that puts other teams on the back foot. We can’t keep leaving ourselves in situations where we have to chase games.
“We’ll never point fingers at anyone for missing a penalty. It’s always frustrating, but that’s the same for the player as it is for us and the fans. We can’t deny that the penalty and the Mark Beck header at the end are two really good situations for us but Joe [Garner] has come in and he has settled. He’s scoring goals and he’ll dust himself off and keep going.
“We had three young players on the pitch at the end for us and I think they are doing really well. Brad [Potts] has just been picked up by his driver and he’s off to join up with England, and he has earned that. He will get better and better in that role because he has plenty of energy and some quality on the ball. Dave [Symington] has come on and had an impact and we’ve spoken to Mark [Beck] because we want more from him. He has all of the attributes to be a very good player and he now needs to find that ruthless streak and perhaps learn a bit from the way Joe Garner does his business.
“I think the players have responded magnificently to the situation we’re in. We have played our football and we’ve battled over the last two games. With a bit of luck we’d be looking at six points and if we take this level of play back to Brunton Park next week then we’ll be winning games.
“The clean sheets are something we all want and we have just spoken about the goal difference with the radio as well. We have been much better defensively in the last few games and we know we’re heading in the right direction. Hopefully that is a turning point for us because that will help us to address the negative goal difference.
“We’ve stuck with this back four because they are playing better together every week. Frank [Simek] is getting back to his best and Mike Edwards has had some of his best games for us. We’ve brought Sean [McGinty] in for cover and we won’t ever use him just because he is here. He has to keep working hard and if we think he will be better then any of the players we already have in there, then he will get the nod.
“We have a week now to do our work and to get ready for two very important home games. We want to be back in the top half and pushing on, so the home form is key to that. We’re starting to look better in terms of squad numbers and strength in depth and the signs are encouraging. Hopefully we’ll get the results everyone wants.”