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MANAGER: It has really hurt me

6 August 2013

More reaction to the weekend game

United manager Greg Abbott spoke more about the Orient game at his Tuesday afternoon press briefing.

“There is some real hurt and some real disappointment around at the moment,” he said.

“You need things to go well for you at the start of the season and we were on the wrong end of some poor situations. Probably, since the first time since I’ve been at the club, I really struggled to come to terms with what happened at the weekend and that’s because I feel so sorry for a lot of people.”

“I feel sorry for the board and the group on the admin side of the operation because they have done a lot of hard work in terms of trying to generate interest and optimism over the summer,” he continued. “I feel really sorry for the fans because they were outstanding for us on Saturday. 

“When the last goal went in they accepted the circumstances without too much criticism. If I’d been a fan I’d have been really upset as well and the simple fact is that we have to do better for them. 

“We were building up such a nice little rapport and it shows how quickly that can get damaged. I want our relationship to be better – it needs to be healthy. The players need the fans because if they don’t have their support then the confidence levels become really fragile. 

“It really has hurt me that the fans have had to go home feeling so unhappy.” 

“We’ve got such a young group that they absolutely need the fans right now,” he insisted. “That’s an appeal because I know how difficult it is when you have a poor result like this one. I’m big enough and brave enough to take all of the criticism because we have some younger players who need a bit of protection. 

“That’s why I take full responsibility. I pick the team – yes it’s a young team – but we still need to be better. We fight on from here and I think the players will play their part in that. 

“We’ve spoken about shouldering responsibility collectively and the way we talked to each other in the dressing room after the game was very controlled and measured. I care a lot about the players, the club and the fans but I need a little bit of a hand along the way from all parties – so there’s my appeal. Keep that patience and help us to move on from here.”

On the performance of the team, he said: “From the keeper through to the front men it just wasn’t good enough. They are a young group and going down to ten men was always going to make it even tougher, but we’re hoping that these lads emerge to be really good players. 

“We are thin on the ground but we have what we have. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that something needs to be done, and done quickly. That could be through strengthening, if we need to, or by doing work as a team on defending as a unit and from the front.” 

“It’s all about responses now,” he told us. “There are things there which need to be rectified because we weren’t anywhere near as compact or as tight as we should be. We need to get the confidence back in our back four so that we can all move on.

“I hope the players are hurting because I’m a really angry man at the moment. I’m not happy at all and I want them all to go out there and look after each other now. 

“We’re talking about everybody at this club being a family. That’s what families do – they look after each other. I don’t like to see anybody in a family get hung out to dry. We need to be determined and ready to go to war together, because that’s how it’s got to be as far as I’m concerned.

“We need to start being tight, consistent and angry so that we go out there to give the fans something to cheer about. We’ve made life difficult for ourselves and it’s our job to go out and earn some respect again. The mindset has to be right and the work ethic has to be there if we’re going to achieve that. Hopefully that will be the case.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Greg Abbott now. 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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