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MANAGER: Back to the drawing board

12 January 2014

Graham Kavanagh on the Orient game

Manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his reaction to the weekend away trip to Leyton Orient.

“It just wasn’t good enough,” he said. “We were beaten by the better side but we contributed to it by giving away a sloppy goal before half time.

“I thought we were very solid before that even though we didn’t really have a platform to build on in terms of looking like we were going to score a goal. Sometimes you have to surrender that part of your game when you’re up against a side playing with confidence.”

“Conceding three goals in the second half was very disappointing,” he added. “We consider ourselves to be a very fit team but we let ourselves down. We didn’t use our intelligence or our energy within that and we’ve handed the momentum over far too easily.

“We didn’t defend in the way we talked about and all of the weaknesses and frailties we showed at the start of the season were back with a vengeance. It’s now a case of evaluating what we’ve seen and getting back to the drawing board. 

“I’ll be looking for a reaction this week. Nobody at this club or in this team is guaranteed a starting position. They have to earn it every single day and they have to understand that people pay their hard earned money to come and watch us. 

“We’ve entertained the fans at times this season but we keep getting performances like this. It’s hugely disappointing and not good enough. We’ll work them hard this week and they will have to get on with it. 

“It concerns me that every time we look like we’re about to make the next step, whether that’s to get into the top half or to get away from relegation, it just doesn’t happen. There has to be a reason for that and I am certainly asking more and more questions every week to find out why it is the case.”

“Overall it was a very poor defeat for us and probably the worst performance since I took over,” he agreed. “We looked ragged and sloppy with possession and we weren’t able to cope with a very good Leyton Orient side. 

“It’s gone now and we have to focus on the fact we have got to get 54 points as quickly as we can. We want to stay in this division and then we can re-evaluate it all in the summer. All we can do at the moment is work extremely hard. I don’t think bringing in a lot of players is always the right answer. I think we’ve got to go back to the basics of defending, keeping the ball and working hard as a group. We’re at a point now where we have to start delivering the things we keep talking about because we are making life very tough for ourselves.

“It’s not something I’m going to tolerate. I’m going to try and put it right but I need the players to use the information we give them to produce the performances and results we need. The periods we have had success this season have been when they have bought into the closing down, the energy and the discipline. When they become individual players we are nowhere near as effective. It’s important for us to understand each other’s job and to make sure we are doing our own.”

“We’ll address the issues this week but at some point the lads have got to take ownership of what they are being asked to do. When we are successful it will because of them. As we’ve said, people are paying good money to come and watch us and we need to be giving them more than that. I apologise for the performance and my job now is to get in next week and make sure we are ready to be much better next Saturday.”

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