Reaction from the manager to the Blackburn game
Manager Greg Abbott spoke to us immediately after the conclusion of the dramatic penalty shoot-out on Wednesday night.
“It’s a good feeling to win a game like this because it’s been a tough few days,” he said. “I’ve been in tough situations before, as have the team and, if we’re honest, these lads had no real right to win that game. Blackburn have some really good players and we’ve competed with them.”
“I’m really pleased for the fans that they are able to go home smiling after what has been an enjoyable night for them,” he added. “We really enjoyed watching it as well. It’s a good way to win and it’s nice to see the lads with such big smiles on their faces.
“It’s also good for the chairman and John [Nixon] because they took a bit of flak on Saturday. They are trying to run this club properly and it isn’t an easy job.
“We are what we are and we just need the support of the fans more than ever before. We’re getting that and we really appreciate it. We’ll have a few accidents along the way with a group as young as this, but we’ll get there.”
“We all had to dig deep after Saturday because it really hurt everybody connected with the club,” he continued. “We demanded a response and we needed to put some belief back into the group and into the city. I suppose the biggest thing for me was to see so many fans clapping and smiling again.
“All of the Blackburn staff agreed it was a great game to watch. Hopefully we’ve just repaid the poor performance from Saturday – we don’t forget it, I don’t forget it, but we have to draw a line under it.
“We have to be very proud of what the lads have done and they should be as well. It’s been a big effort and they are a credit to the club. They’ll feel better for getting some pats on the back rather than doom and gloom. I want us to get that reaction from the fans for as often and as long as we can.”
“I thought Paul Thirlwell was one of our best players tonight,” he said. “He was outstanding. Some of the timing of his tackles was out of this world. The thing he does that possibly isn’t seen is talk and urge the other players around him on. He’s a leader and a top lad. We knew we had some defensive issues after the weekend and we felt we had a player who could come in and make it better. It’s something he’s done before and he looked comfortable with it.”
“We had the injury to Reece [James] and that brought 17-year old Patrick Brough onto it in a real man’s game,” he continued. “He’s got a smile on his face and I don’t think he understands what he’s done. I told him to get on there and enjoy himself. You never know what you’ll get but he settled and he got the crowd on his side. He’s come out of it with flying colours.
“Mark Beck is getting better and better all the time. It’s the same with Brad Potts – these lads will make a few mistakes but they’re heading in the right direction. There is a huge amount of improvement in them and that’s all you can ask for. I want them all to have great careers.
“We then have Alex Salmon doing the same and he was brave enough to step up and take the first penalty. We knew who was going to take them all but it comes down to the lads and how they feel. Alex wanted the first and David Symington wanted the last. We told them all to be confident, however they did it, and it’s come off for them.”
“I think overall we deserved the win but the sending off won us the game. We started to get up a head of steam after that and it’s the opposite of what happened to us on Saturday. It just shows how much incidents like that can affect the game and we’ve had one go against us and one go our way in the space of four days.”
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