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MANAGER: Every game is important

1 February 2014

Graham Kavanagh on the Bristol City game

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us shortly after the disappointing defeat against Bristol City. 

"I'm disappointed for the lads because I thought we contained them for long periods," he said. "Two set pieces have cost us in the end so it is very disappointing. We have to defend better. I thought we were in control and I felt secure in the shape because it didn't look like we were going to get caught at all. 

"We passed it well and moved it forward and we looked like we were going to create opportunities. It will be a disappointing and long journey home for everybody now. We talk about the detail in the game and the concentration that is needed but we gave a silly ball away in midfield which brought an unnecessary corner. That led to the first goal."

"We always knew it was going to be a difficult game," he added. "The squad we had available wasn't the most experienced and they had to try and manage periods in the game that they probably haven't experienced before. I thought all of the lads gave it their best shot, but I was concerned because we didn't have Lee [Miller] and they're a very big team. We thought they would cause us problems from set pieces and that's how it turned out."

"I don't think we caused them enough problems," he agreed. "David Amoo was lively, as was Michael Drennan, and he was unlucky with his chance that hit the bar. There are things that I'm pleased with but we need to be more consistent." 

"They have got quality throughout their squad and you saw that in the lad they brought on at half time," he admitted. "I'm not saying they're in a false position, because the table doesn't lie, but with the quality of player they have here it's amazing they're in the position they're in. We don't have that luxury and every day is a scrap and a fight. We've got to find ways to try and improve. 

"I was pleased with Charni Ekangamene. He's got lots of energy and he's very workmanlike. He's got quality and he gives us balance with him being left footed. He'll only grow on the back of that performance. The time frame we had with the two loan signings wasn't ideal, because they didn't get a chance to train, but we threw them in and they gave it their best shot. We know that when they understand the way we play they'll be more effective, so this week will be important for them."

"I'm obviously disappointed but there are a lot of aspects of the game I was pleased with," he continued. "We had a meeting this morning about the roles we were going to play. We obviously lost Lee, because his girlfriend had a baby, so we knew we had to change the game plan. We tried to cause them lots of problems when we had the ball and I thought we did that in the first half."

"We need more quality in and around the group," he revealed. "We need some bodies in. We had four lads on the bench who were under 20 and two of them were YTS lads. We didn't have an eighteenth player so it's difficult at the moment, but we'll go again on Monday. We do need some experience in the team. We lost Max Ehmer this week and although he's only young he's got a lot of experience in this league. 

"We'll address it next week when the emergency loan window opens again and we'll hopefully have some of the senior players available. We'll make sure we have a good week training because we can't be disappointed for too long. We have to dust ourselves down and make sure we're ready for the Gillingham game."

"Charni and Brad Potts alternated in the diamond and I thought Bez [James Berrett] looked in control of the game," he insisted. "He was front screening and filling the hole in front of Emmanuel-Thomas which I knew was going to be important. Emmanuel-Thomas can destroy any team in the league. It didn't look like he fancied it in the first half but he put us on the back foot during the second half and caused us some real problems."

"I would like to do more business," he confirmed. "We were trying to get a centre half in but we couldn't get the right one for the right money, so it was difficult. We'll have to go back to the drawing board in terms of recruitment. I think the players that we've moved on have allowed us to do more with the budget we have available."

"Our home form has been decent and Gillingham is a game we'll be looking to get the three points from," he said. "It's important that the fans get behind us again and we'll hopefully give them a performance like we did against MK Dons. All we can do is keep trying to improve every day. We'll try and get some more quality in and see where it takes us. Every game is important because we've now got 18 games left to make sure we survive in this league."

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