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INTERVIEW: The game is cruel

8 September 2013

Manager on the Port Vale defeat

United manager Greg Abbott gave us his reaction to the home defeat at the hands of a late Port Vale sucker punch on Saturday evening.


“The game is cruel,” he said. “We wanted to do so well for the fans today and I thought they were magnificent. They stuck with us right the way through the game and they were brilliant.


“We had 3,800 hardy souls there who wanted to see us win and we tried so hard to do that. This is what happens when you’re fighting for a few results and I don’t think our performance deserved that. Sometimes in this game you don’t get what you deserve and the dressing room is hurting a little bit.”


“We think we should beat everybody but they worked hard and they got their break right at the end,” he added. “Like I said, this game is cruel and this kind of thing happens.


“We’ll play worse than that and win, it’s as simple as that. All we can do is work as hard as we did today … but we’ll end up talking about negatives because we gave a goal away in the last minute. There are too many positives which will get missed because of that, but that is the game.


“The positives we can take are the attitude of the players and the fans. Everyone was working so hard together to get the result. If the shot from Troy [Archibald-Henville] had gone in 30 seconds earlier then we’d be talking about a different ball game. That’s the game for you.


“It’s all doom and gloom at the moment but we could be talking about a 1-0 victory as easy as we’re talking about a 1-0 defeat. There’s not much more to say and I’m not going to go hunting out and talking a lot of rubbish. That’s how the game can be sometimes and you have to be brave enough to accept it. It’s football, it’s the industry we’re in and Troy could have put us 1-0 up and out of sight – but 30 seconds later we’re staring at a home defeat.


“When you’re a team that isn’t winning, that happens. The lads knew they should have been a goal up at half time because they were really impressive, they were passing the ball and the football was good for the first half hour. There’ll always be a period of the game when the opposition gets their possession but it looked like it as petering out to a 0-0 draw. We would have been able to take heart from another clean sheet but that wasn’t really what we wanted. We wanted the win.


“The fans will be in a different mindset because of the way the game ended. I’m pretty despondent myself with that ending because just moments later I thought we might have been going away with a 1-0 win. Unfortunately we haven’t.


“We’ve just seen everyone have a right good go at it and we now need to find a result from somewhere. That will give them the belief that they can go forward. Bit by bit we are getting better. They brought three terrific substitutes on and they have genuine goal scorers in there. They’re going to get some good periods in games. We’ve got to make sure when we have our periods that we get a goal. It’s not easy because we’re not getting enough goals and we’re not getting enough points.


“We think there’s enough in this group to turn this round. I’ve said this game is cruel and I’m not going to make too many excuses. We’ve just been beaten up by what football is all about.


“There are a lot of fans who are happy with the improvement they’ve seen today. The result will upset everybody, that’s fact. The mindset of the fans has been changed just from that last 30 seconds where we should have scored. That’s the difference in football. Players, managers and directors have to deal with that and it’s not nice. The game, based on that last 30 seconds, has changed everybody’s mind. That’s life and you have to face it.


“Our job is to prepare teams to win games and the situation as it is can’t go on for much longer with us losing matches. That’s just life and that’s football. I’m disappointed because I wanted to win so badly for the crowd. They really were fantastic. Let’s hope we can get back to work and lift the players and the group so that we can come back next week and win the game for them."

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