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INTERVIEW: Show more discipline

4 August 2013

Manager on the Orient game

United manager Greg Abbott gave us his reaction to the Orient game on Saturday evening.

“We’re still optimistic despite the result but when decisions or goals go against us we have to react with a much better frame of mind,” he said. “Up to the last 20 minutes or so a lot of it was ok, and then we conceded too easily and we were too frail.

“We’re looking at people to take responsibility for all of the young players on the pitch because they are looking for guidance and leadership from me, and then from the senior players. We didn’t do that and that’s the most disappointing thing about today.”

“You’ll always be up against it if you go down to ten men against a decent side and they have some powerful and experienced players of the right kind of blend for League One,” he continued. “We have to stand up and find ways to compete ... and we need a little bit of luck along the way as well.

“It’s really frustrating for us to concede the early goals from set pieces. You could argue that they were difficult to deal with because of the wind and the height of the players we were up against but, whatever the reason, we can’t sit back and accept it.

“I knew there’d be problems with Sean O’Hanlon and Matt Robson missing, and then we lost Lee [Miller] in the way we did. That made life even more difficult. We go into next week off the back of a bad result now and it’s going to be a difficult job to pick that group up.” 

“We’ll do it, because we’ve done it before, and we now need to find those players in the dressing room who will take responsibility,” he told us. “I certainly take my share for what happened and the job now is to put it right.”

And on the sending off, he said: “There’s no point in going to speak to the referee because he’s made his decision. If the lad hadn’t been hurt he’d have got up and it would probably have been a yellow card. 

“Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt and we all hope he recovers fully as quickly possible. I haven’t seen the video, so I can’t really comment on the incident, but it was a big loss for us. He is our captain and the leader of our front line and it made it very difficult for us.”

“It’s not something we’re going to use an excuse because at 2-1 we were right back in it,” he insisted. “The only change was that Lewis Guy suddenly had to work up against two defenders – everyone else still had the same job to do. 

“But we let midfield players run off us and that meant the defenders were dragged out of their areas and we looked loose and ragged. We have to show more discipline right across the pitch. We have to track runners and work harder because we weren’t doing that often enough. That’s something we have to look at.” 

“We’ve said before that we’re a little bit lighter than we were last year and things have to go our way,” he said. “This is one where things haven’t gone our way at all. In a situation like this we have be better prepared to dig deep as a unit to stop situations from running out of control. 

“This is a brutal league and it’s games like this where we find out that we have to be tougher. They’ll learn from it but it’s one that causes a lot of damage as well. That’s why we need people who will stand up and work hard to put it right. We’ve got to put this one behind us very quickly.”

“The fans were great for us today,” he agreed. “If we’d gone in with the final score at 2-1 - but with the lads fighting for everything and looking for an equaliser - then we’d probably have seen a standing ovation. But to see their team get rolled over by five, in their own city, just isn’t acceptable. Some of the fans vented their feelings but you can’t expect a pleasant reaction after something like that. I can’t blame them for that at all.

“We’re talking about rolling sleeves up now. We can’t dwell on this because we need a performance on Wednesday to take us through to a tough game at Bradford at the weekend. It’s something we need to do together because, as we’ve seen, if we go running after things as individuals then we leave ourselves wide open.”

“We now have to make sure that our confidence levels aren’t knocked and getting it right on Wednesday would go a long way to helping us with that.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Greg Abbott on Monday morning. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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