Team captain on the Bournemouth match
Team captain Paul Thirlwell spoke to us about his injury and about the disappointing defeat at full time on Saturday.
“It was an innocuous challenge for the injury and it’s one I will have to see again to work out what happened,” he said. “I think I went in for a challenge and I fell awkwardly, and it was Harry [Arter] who then fell on top of me. I felt that it wasn’t right straight away and I was a bit concerned about it. It settled a bit but there was a dull ache there and there was no way I could have continued. We’ll see how it settles and no doubt I’ll get an x-ray during the early part of this week.
“I’ve no idea at this stage what it is that’s happened. I only knew I couldn’t continue. Hopefully it’s just a sprained ankle, or something like that, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
“With the game, we’re all coming away feeling disappointed again,” he told us. “I thought we started it really well and then we were done with a sucker punch for their first goal. I didn’t think we let that bother us too much and we got the equaliser. I thought we were going to push on from there.
“Then we gave another sloppy goal away, but we still thought at half time that the next goal was the key. We had more than enough to go on and win the game but we let ourselves down again. It leaves us all trying to put our finger on why this is happening. The fact is that if you give these goals away then you’re going to make life hard.
“We prepare right tactically and we all know our jobs, but you can’t coach anything to prevent the errors that are being made at the moment. I’ve no doubt that we’ll bounce back in the next game but you get a bit bored of saying that. We have to get more in the habit of scoring goals when we’re on top and we also have to stop conceding when we’re on top as well.
“There’s no easy answer on how we fix it but we’ll work hard on the training ground and individually the players have to take a look at themselves. There’s no point in hammering the management staff after a game like this because they can’t stop people from making individual errors. The goals we’re conceding at the moment could have been avoided and it’s up to us to address that.”
“We all make mistakes so I don’t think we can start pointing fingers at each other,” he continued. “Whether we have to be mentally tougher, I just don’t know. We’ll look at whether it’s concentration levels and things like that but you can rest assured that it’s not through a lack of effort or that we don’t want to do things properly. If we can manage to string two or three wins together then we’ll be right back up there so we have to go out there and do that.”
“We were talking on Friday and I said that when we need a result, we always seem to get one,” he said. “It’s now about capitalising on the good results. Last Tuesday night we beat Oldham and we needed to follow that up with a good performance against Bournemouth. I had the feeling at the start of the game with the way we were passing it that we were going to win it.
“We kept conceding goals and you just can’t keep coming back in this league. It’s really, really frustrating to start games well and give goals away, but we’re doing that a lot at the moment. Looking at the goals we conceded and you have to say they are poor. We just can’t hide away from that, but we do have to stop it from happening. We have to try to be more resilient.
“We can start that next week against Ebbsfleet. The main focus for every player has to be winning that game because I wouldn’t want to be involved in headlines like that if they beat us. There are always shocks in the FA Cup and we have to make sure we’re not one of them. We keep talking about this level of consistency and we have to show people that we can go five or six unbeaten. If we do that then well be rocketing up the league and that’s what we all want. We’ve got enough in the dressing room to cope so we’ll keep working hard at it and I’m sure we’ll turn it round.”
United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Paul Thirlwell later today. For more information on United Player, and to subscribe, click HERE.