Reaction to the Rotherham game
Manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his reaction to the away draw at Rotherham on Saturday.
“I’m extremely pleased with what we did,” he said. “We showed great work rate, honesty and determination and especially with the fact we were down to ten men for the second half.”
“Sometimes you get a turning point in a season and I’m really hoping that Tuesday’s second half performance was that for us,” he continued. “We weren’t playing well in that game and we hadn’t really helped ourselves, so we had a lot to say to the players at half time. We asked for a performance in the second half and we asked again for that to be continued and improved upon today.
“It was important for us to see if we could sustain that. The rhythm of the game changed with the sending off but the intensity at which we played stayed throughout, and that deserves a huge pat on the back for the lads.”
On the sending off for left back Conor Townsend, he said: “I think it probably was a sending off. That comes down to him being a bit naïve with the two yellow cards he picked up. The second came right after the first and you have to be more aware than that. However, he’s a young kid and he’s been outstanding for us, so we aren’t going to criticise him too much.
“I asked him what he was thinking, when he went in for the second tackle, and he told me just didn’t know. It was a rush of blood and he genuinely thought he could get the ball.”
“He’s one we would like to bring back if at all possible,” he told us. “I’ve had a chat with Conor but we are still at the very early stages. It’s certainly something I would like to do if at all possible.
“He’s grown into his job and his role and I would even go as far as to say that I wasn’t his biggest fan when he first came here. I thought there were areas of his game he really needed to improve and you look back and think that sometimes things happen for a reason.
“We took Lewis Guy off in the game against Sheffield United after 20 minutes and we put Conor on in his place. He was absolutely outstanding in that one and his confidence grew from there. I think he’s loved being here so hopefully we can get something done.”
“The good thing for us is that we can go right through the team and talk about every player giving us everything,” he insisted. “I’ve criticised everyone in the past for not playing to the levels we want, but I can’t do that today. They battled and fought for each other, they played their football, and they almost even nearly won it.
“I thought Ben Amos was fantastic. He got near everything that came into the box and his defenders took confidence from that. He made his saves, his decision making was excellent and he had that bit of luck we all need. He’ll go away feeling very happy with his clean sheet. The spine of the team looked very strong and everyone did the jobs they were asked to do. To a man I simply can’t fault any of them.”
Looking ahead to the visit of Crewe on Tuesday night, he said: “Hopefully we’ll get a good home crowd. If we don’t score early then hopefully the fans will stay patient and stay with us.
“We’ll be doing our utmost to win the game but the worst thing we can do is think that that all we have to do is turn up. If we do that we’ll come unstuck. If we can add more quality to the application we showed today then we’ll be in with a real chance. We’ll go out to put them on the back foot early in the game and hopefully we’ll ask a lot of questions of them.”