Tony Caig with reaction to the Shrewsbury game
United coach Tony Caig gave us his reaction to the away defeat at Shrewsbury on Tuesday evening.
“It was a frustrating night for us,” he said. “I thought we played much better in the second half. We passed the ball better and we squeezed out much quicker as a team. We forced them to play in their half a bit more which is something we didn’t manage to get them to do before the break.
“It’s another game where we just needed a couple of things to go our way. On another day Billy Paynter’s volley goes in and we come away with at least a draw. These things aren’t happening for us at the moment but we keep going until they do.”
“We got into some good areas without having that final finish, and that’s something for us to work on,” he continued. “It’s been a difficult period because we lost two experienced centre backs and we had to go with a makeshift back four.
“That was never going to be easy, particularly coming to a place like this. They’re a physical side but Danny Grainger and Paul Thirlwell coped quite well with that. Our full backs are learning on the job but, like I say, they’re giving it everything for us.”
“We’ve got what we’ve got in terms of personnel at the moment,” he said. “They gave their all to a man tonight. One thing we can’t question is their commitment to getting this right. We huffed and puffed late on, and we could maybe have nicked something, but it just wasn’t to be for us. We came with a game plan and one lapse of concentration has cost us.
“Obviously the situation is worrying when you’re sat at the bottom of the league. There’s going to be a new manager coming in and I would imagine he will want to make his own signings. With that, added to the return of the injured lads, it will give us quite a healthy squad. It’s got more than enough to be heading up the league. I’m not saying we’re in a false position, because we aren’t. The league table doesn’t lie. The simple fact is we have to be better.
“The players are trying and we’ve probably had an hour of football over the last four games where the standards weren’t at the levels we set. That cost us in the second half against Bury and in the first half tonight. We’ve matched teams other than that, and it’s up to us to keep doing that so that we can push on.”
“We haven’t had the conversation as to whether or not we will be looking after the team on Saturday,” he told us. “The last thing we spoke about was taking the team through Bury and Shrewsbury, so we’ll wait to see what gets said. The process of appointing a new manager is going on and, with the situation we’re in, it’s become a really important decision to make. Everyone wants them to get it right because we all want to be winning games. We need to start getting some results.”
And on the injury situation, he said: “We’re going to keep monitoring Troy [Archibald-Henville]. It’s difficult for him, with the injury history, and we didn’t want to push him into two games in three days too soon. We’re hoping to have him available for the weekend.
“We’ll look at Sean O’Hanlon over the next couple of days to see how his toe settles. Danny Kearns is now back in training and he has picked up the intensity levels on that side of things. Hopefully he’ll be back with us by the end of the week.
“Alex Marrow has been doing rehab work with Lee Fearn but he’s still a little bit away just yet. He’s missed quite a bit of football so we’ll ease him back into things to make sure we get it right. I think Courtney Meppen-Walter is still a couple of months off and Matt Robson is another who is ongoing. Exact timescales on the longer term lads are more difficult to pin down.”
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