Graham Kavanagh on the Oldham defeat
Manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his reaction to the home defeat against Oldham Athletic on Saturday.
“There was definitely a fear factor with the group and I think we saw that in the way we handled the ball,” he said. “That’s something you get when you have youth and inexperience in the group. The lads gave us their absolute all but I’ve said before that we’ve lacked leaders and a little bit of quality, which we’ve known about all season.
“The lads have given everything and gone for the win. We probably saw the best of our play after they scored and in hindsight you can ask why we didn’t perform that way before that.
“We certainly didn’t ask the players to sit deep and, like I say, that comes down to the fear factor. We didn’t have enough in the group to pull us through in the end and that’s very disappointing for us all. We huffed and puffed but we didn’t quite do enough to get ourselves that goal.
“There are reasons for that but you never want them to sound like excuses. I’ve been trying to organise a team to do a job and it has been very difficult for one reason or another. All I can say is that I am more disappointed than anyone but I want to be the one who puts this right.”
“I’d like to think I’ll get the chance to do that,” he continued. “I took over when the team was going nowhere. We managed to pick things up but the injury situation has been unbelievable. Looking back at January, I put my faith in senior players who I thought would be fit for us.
“That hasn’t happened and I don’t think anyone could predict the amount of injuries we’ve suffered. There was no money to spend so we have had to do short term deals or loans. We’ve been scrimping and saving all the way through and I think, in the cold light of day, we will look back and see the squad needed reshaping in January. However, we’ve had to do what we could within the market we were able to work in.
“I thought when we had the FA Cup run we would be able to reinvest, but that wasn’t the case because of the attendances. It’s all rolled on from that period but I’m big enough to be able to take the criticism if it is levelled my way.”
“We spoke to the lads in the dressing room and there were too many games at the start of the season where players wanted to do it on their terms,” he said. “It’s now coming back to bite us because the pressure has built up as each game has gone by. We’ve tried to deal with that by avoiding the word relegation but we’ve come up a little bit short in the end.”
“I completely understand the frustration from the fans,” he continued. “I took a lot of stick, which is fair enough, because they are more than entitled to their opinion. We have to keep going and make sure we get something on Tuesday night to give ourselves a fighting chance next weekend.
“Mathematically it is still possible and this club has been involved in some unusual ends to the season. Tuesday is a game in hand we need to win so that we can go into the last day of the season with something to fight for.”