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REACTION: Second half wasn't good enough

14 September 2014

Tony Caig and Paul Thirlwell on the Bury game

Tony Caig and Paul Thirlwell gave us their reaction to the home defeat against Bury on Saturday.

“I thought we were well in it in the first half,” Thirlwell said. “They’re a good side but it was end to end and it was quite an enjoyable game.

“Bury will be there or thereabouts but that’s no excuse for the disappointment of the second half. I think Mark [Gillespie] will hold his hands up for the first goal and they seemed to pass the ball better than us after that. Mark has saved us a heck of a lot more than he’s cost us so there’s no problem with what happened. We deservedly lost the game in the end because that second half simply wasn’t good enough.

“We were a League One club last year and I would suggest that if we want to get back to where we’ve just come from then the performance levels need to be better. Having said that, we weren’t getting carried away with the two performances we got before this one and we won’t get carried away with this defeat.”

“Every successful team has a strong figurehead at the helm but I very much doubt that us having a manager would have got us a win today,” Caig said. “When the players go on the grass it’s up to them as to how they perform and how they approach it.

“We played well in the first half but Bury got the ascendancy after their goal and it was difficult for us. We stepped off a yard and that’s something the players have to look at because they should be doing everything they can to stay in the game. Over the three games we’ve been looking after things we’ve been playing some decent stuff overall, but we didn’t get that in this second half. 

“We’ve created problems for ourselves defensively at times and that’s something we need to address. Good teams are built on solid foundations and we need to get rid of the individual errors which are costing us. The lads have given us everything despite that and you can’t ask for anything more than that.”

“Looking to Tuesday, all we can do is dust ourselves down and try to improve on the areas where we did things wrong,” Thirlwell explained. “The two games before Bury were everything we wanted and expected and we have to get back to that. We know what we’re capable of but this is a game where we fell short. A bit more belief in ourselves, and if we start to get the rub of green, and things will change for the better.”

“As I said, good performances come from not conceding, or from reacting well if you do concede,” Caig added. “A problem we have at the moment is that we tend to step away if we do go a goal behind. It’s been a pattern over the last 18 months or so and it needs to be looked at closely if this team is going to go forward. We’re asking the senior players to be part of the solution because they’ve been round the block and they know this level.”

“If the new manager was watching today he’ll already know he’s getting the job for a reason,” Thirlwell commented. “Results haven’t been good enough and this game showed why. The vulnerability when we go a goal down is what keeps costing us so there are definitely frailties there. This squad has plenty of positives in it as well, so it’s not all doom and gloom. We believe there is more than enough in that dressing room and that’s why it’s frustrating. We just need to get the confidence that goes with picking up results. Winning is a habit and losing is a habit and all we need now is to get off the mark.”

On the injury situation, Caig said: “Billy [Paynter] had a reaction to his hamstring in training but it’s not a serious one. We’ll look at him next week and see how he is. It was good to see Troy [Archibald-Henville] back but he’s going to take a little bit of time. Again, we’ll assess how he’s feeling and we’ll see how he is ahead of the Shrewsbury game.”

“With this type of situation we all face at the moment, I’ve been here as a player, and it filled me with a bit of fire to go out there and prove that we were better than the league position suggested,” he concluded. “Nobody is going to hand anything to us. The players have to get out there and do it for themselves.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Tony Caig and Paul Thirlwell now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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