United boss John Sheridan gave us his reaction to the Morecambe home defeat shortly after full time on Saturday evening.
“It’s simply not good enough,” he said. “You can’t talk about the play-offs or promotion if you aren’t scoring goals and if you’ve lost the last four at home. It just isn’t acceptable.
“It wasn’t a good performance either. Usually I can accept a performance if you think you should have got something out of the game, but other than a couple of chances in the first half we didn’t get going at all.”
“It surprises me after we got a really good result and performance at Oldham, and it’s hard to explain,” he continued. “As a manager I’ve got to try and solve it and sort it out, and we’ll work hard to do that. The obvious fact is that if you don’t score goals you aren’t going to win games.
“Unfortunately this is what happens at this level but, having said that, our home form compared to our away form is puzzling me as a manager. One week I’m talking about how well we’ve played and how good we look, then the next week we’re at home and I’m finding it hard to talk to you and answer the questions you’re asking me, because it doesn’t stack up.
“It shouldn’t be like that, we should be doing a lot better. I’m not going to make excuses, we just should be doing a lot better. I can’t see what’s to fear when you’re playing at home.
“When I was a player I always liked playing at home, and that should be the same for everyone. It’s a lovely pitch, and if you give these fans what they want they’ll get right behind you.
“There should never be a fear factor, we’ve got experienced players who have played in bigger grounds in front of bigger crowds. We’re playing in front of fans who want to push us on and they’re desperate for us to do well. I would never say there’s a fear factor – if there is then I won’t pick them.”
Looking to pinpoint the reason behind the four-game drought, he told us: “We’re not scoring goals and we’re letting soft goals in. I said to them this week that we hadn’t conceded a goal from a set play, and all of a sudden we concede one.
“The first goal was ridiculous on our part because we should be doing better in the middle of the park. Throughout the whole game I thought we were too far apart in terms of our shape and we weren’t solid as a team.”
“I’m aware it’s a hard-sell to get people to come to our home games at the moment,” he commented. “The people who travel away are watching good performances and we’re picking up points. On the back of those away games, we’re all coming into home games really positive thinking if we can pick points up at home it will get us higher up the league.
“That’s just not the way it’s going for us. We possibly should have scored two goals in the first half, but other than that I didn’t think we deserved anything. It’s very hard for the supporters but I don’t mind the grumbles, because I was grumbling as well.
“I’m disappointed and frustrated, and I’m totally with them. After scoring no goals in four home games I don’t think you should be hiding. You’ve just got to accept it and get on with it. We’ve got to have a bit of character about us and we need to do a lot better.
“The players have my trust, I just want them to believe in themselves. They’re letting things slip away, we could be competing, and we could be up there, but we’re letting things slip away. I think they’re good players, but we aren’t a light switch. We can’t just turn on and off, but that’s what we’re doing at the moment.
“I’m not someone who will come out and have a go at my players. I say what I have to say in the changing room, and I’ve told them what my thoughts are. They know where I’m coming from and I need to get a grip of them because our home form just isn’t good enough.
“I’ve done all the talking again in the dressing room. We’ll work hard to try and rectify things because it isn’t fair on the fans when they’re coming to watch their team. Everyone involved in the club wants to win, and performance wise this isn’t good enough.”
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