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MANAGER: We deserved it but we made it hard for ourselves

John Sheridan with reaction to the Cheltenham away victory

18 August 2018

United boss John Sheridan gave us his reaction to the Saturday away victory at Cheltenham shortly after full time at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

“The most important thing, as always, is that you’re trying to get three points and I’m chuffed to bits that we got our first win,” he said. “It’s a relief because we’ve got our first win of the season.

“I think we deserved it, but we made it much harder than it should have been for ourselves. It’s a game we should have seen through a lot easier than we did.

“We created some excellent chances to score more goals but I’m not going to grumble too much. We were a bit kamikaze in the last 15 or 20 minutes and that gave them the belief they could get something, because of the holes we left at the back.

“One of the good things to come out of it was that we defended when we needed to, and Joe Fryer was there at the end with a fantastic save. Like I say, things should have been a lot more comfortable by then.”

“With the amount of really good chances we created I’m actually really shocked that we haven’t scored more,” he continued. “I’ve told the players in the dressing room not to make life so difficult for themselves. We should have had it wrapped up and that comes down to a bit of game know-how and knowing how to manage different situations.

“That’s why you can hear me shouting all the time because it’s a team that is very quiet on the pitch. If we allow people to do the little things which are going to make us vulnerable, then I’m going to let them know, that’s just how I am.

“It’ll be like that while I’m here because I want us to be a good team and I want us to be at the right end of the table. That’s something they’re learning and I’m a new manager, so they have get used to me as well. I’d like people on the pitch to be as vocal as I am on the sidelines.”

A first clean sheet of the season was also a welcome addition for a group that made blocks and tackles as the Robins started to throw men forward.

“An away win is always a great result and the clean sheet is another massive plus,” he agreed. “Full credit to Cheltenham because they threw people up front and they put balls into the box.

“There were some great blocks from our lads and it’s always difficult when a team throws big lads up in numbers. We put our bodies on the line and we saw it through. Like I say, I’m chuffed to bits that we got our first win.

“This is always a tough place to come, but the biggest downer for me is that we made it so hard. I felt we should have had more goals, but I’m not going to be too hard on the lads because we’ve got the three points and it leads us in well to the two home games which are coming up.”

The gauntlet was thrown down from the moment the team was announced as a very attack-minded formation was revealed.

“If I think we’re better going forward than we are defending then I’m going to go for it and try to win games,” he explained. “There’s a group of players who all have goals in them, so let’s play them and let’s try to score.

“I want us to be a good team and I want us to look good on the eye. One of our strengths is that we’re going to create chances. If we’re going to be giving teams problems by going forward and attacking, then that’s the way we’re going to go.

“Nadesan, Yates and Hope all work their socks off and I’ve got some good options on the bench as well, with the likes of Campbell. Jamie Devitt has goals in him, and I think all of our forwards who played could have had at least one each.

“However, we also need to be switched on because I would have been gutted if all we’d got from this was a point. The players would have been gutted as well, so we’ll watch the video to see what we didn’t do well, and also to look at the many positives which came from the game.”

Speaking more about the importance of the clean sheet, he said: “I thought the back four were excellent. There were two great clearances off the line and Joe Fryer made that great save, because Cheltenham made it difficult for us for 15 minutes or so.

“That’s what disappointed me because we allowed them to get a bit of belief that they were going to get something. We should have been out of sight before any of that happened and that would have made things a lot easier.

“I want us to be strong defensively. Having said that, I don’t want us to be too vulnerable and we were very kamikaze towards the end of the game. We shouldn’t be like that. People should be seeing pictures and reading situations so that we’re dealing with games a lot better than we dealt with this one at the end.”

“One of the best things from the day is that the fans go away happy,” he concluded. “It’s a long way but we’ve excited them at the same time as leaving them on edge as much as we were.

“Hopefully they can see what we’re trying to do and I also hope we won’t make it as difficult for all of us as we start to get used to the way we need to be doing things.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with John Sheridan on iFollow United now.

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