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MANAGER: Need some consistency

2 November 2013

Manager on the Gillingham defeat

United manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us shortly after the away defeat at Gillingham on Saturday evening.

"We were probably the better side over the 90 minutes so we're disappointed," he said. "It feels like an opportunity wasted because we felt we could get the three points here today.

"We have to get over that disappointment quickly though because it's important that we get back to doing the things which took us on that positive run when I first took over."

"I thought we should have had a penalty in the first half," he agreed. "I spoke to the referee at half time and he said it wasn't a goal scoring opportunity. However, the ball was in the middle of the goal, six yards out, so that was very frustrating to hear." 

"I don't want to come out and have to say the same things after games," he continued. "We have to hold our hands up and say the lads weren't anywhere near the levels we expect them to be. I don't want to be making excuses, though, because we weren't good enough. 

"We needed to show more quality and penetration, and we needed to pass the ball better, and that didn't happen on enough occasions."

"We were the more dominant team but we weren't getting into the positions we would have liked," he said. "We wanted to get the ball wide and create the overload with the full backs. We had glimpses of that but we let ourselves down with the final pass or in the final third and we didn't really get the momentum we needed." 

"I didn't see the incident with Lee Miller," he commented when asked about the sending off. "I think there was a bit of a tangle in the box and the referee decided that Lee did something wrong. I don't know what that was, or how it happened, but the reality is that we'll be without him again for three or four games. I'm not criticising Lee because I haven't seen the incident and it may well have been something that was innocuous. 

"We'll have a look at it on the DVD and assess it from there. I didn't speak to the referee because there isn't much point to that. We knew he'd shown a lot of yellow and red cards before the game so it's frustrating that a few more have been added. I don't want to focus on the officials too much because I think that detracts from what we're trying to do." 

"We huffed and puffed in the second half," he told us. "However, even after Lee was sent off, we still tried to pump balls into their box even though there was nobody there to get on the end of them. 

"We were screaming at the lads to pass the ball and to express themselves but for some reason they kept taking the easy option of pumping it into the box. Their lads were winning the headers every time so we needed to find another dimension and another way to break them down."

"Chris Chantler came back in and did well," he said. "He's had a very difficult period but he's used that time well in terms of being in the gym. All credit to him today because he worked tirelessly. He did look a little bit rusty but you'd expect that and he'll keep getting better. 

"Prince Buaben will improve in every game he plays. He adds a new dimension to the team because he's a box-to-box player. There are some positives to take out of the game but right now we're all just disappointed at the result."

"We proved in the first five games that we're capable of winning games," he said. "We managed to bounce back against MK Dons but I don't want to have to keep bouncing back. If we're going to be in the top half of the table we need some consistency. Players need to step up and make bigger contributions. We all want success and that isn't going to come if we can't get a consistent run of games going. I'll put that demand on the players and we'll see where it takes us."

"The fans were magnificent again," he concluded. "I would like to apologise to them because we couldn't get the victory they deserved. They've spent a lot of time, money and effort to get here to support us and we really wanted to perform for them. We have to go again on Tuesday now and hopefully put it right."

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