Paul Thirlwell with reaction to the Carlisle City game
United coach Paul Thirlwell gave us his reaction to the Cumberland Cup semi-final victory over Carlisle City on Tuesday night.
“We were disappointed with what we did in the first half, to be honest,” he said. “That was from our point of view because I thought Carlisle City were excellent. They played some decent stuff and got a good goal, but we were poor and not really at the races, for whatever reason.
“We told them before the game that these nights can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make them. With all due respect to Carlisle City, we should be winning the game comfortably if we do what we can do well. If you play in the way we did against teams at our level you can find yourselves two or three down very quickly, so that’s not something we’ll ever accept.
“We didn’t do the basics enough at all in the first half. We didn’t pass it well and they put us under an enormous amount of pressure. The one good bit of play we got out of the half was our goal, which was a decent move and a great finish from Mark Beck.
“Other than that we were lucky to be level. If they’d gone in at a goal up I don’t think we could have complained about it. We had to address that because if something isn’t good enough people have to be told. None of us are perfect at what we do but it certainly wasn’t good enough for the standards we set at this football club. The lads agreed with that, to be fair to them, and they set about putting it right.”
“We did have a little bit of a go at half time but it was done in a nice way,” he told us. “Thankfully we were better in the second half. They all eventually put a shift in and that was important for the players from the first team squad.
“Gary Dicker put himself about after the break and that was his first 90 minutes for a long time. Billy [Paynter] really came into it, again in the second half, and he looked good. He’s obviously in the manager’s thoughts already because he’s come on in the last few games. Danny Kearns did his thing and he looked really threatening in his more central role. Nathan Buddle was excellent and he was one of the better players to come out of it.”
“Mark [Gillespie] came off at half time but I think that was always going to happen,” he explained. “That was down to Tony Caig because he works with him every day and he knows where he’s at.
“There was no mad panic or rush to get 90 minutes out of him and it was just good to get him on the grass. He now knows in his own head that he’s ready for more game time. I don’t think he’ll have expected to be as busy as he was in that first half but the good thing for him was that he had a good few crosses and shots to deal with.”
“The youth team lads will have learned some good lessons from their time on the pitch,” he agreed. “If nothing else they have seen that if you step onto the pitch in a man’s game you have to be at it. Alan Moore coaches them in the right way, so they know what to expect, but doing it for real gives them more of an insight.
“They all responded to what they were told and they got on the ball well. Across the board it was night and day between the first half and the second half, so I think everyone learned a few lessons.”
United - Gillespie (Eccles, 46), Robson, Buddle, Douglas, Marshall, Hammell, Kearns (Taylor, 65), Dicker, Elliott (Bradbury, 82), Paynter, Beck. Subs - Hurley, Pearson.
Goals - Beck (28 & 84), Paynter (54), Kearns (62), Taylor (73)
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