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MANAGER: It was a game where we were nearly doing things all the time

John Sheridan with reaction to the Stevenage home game

30 September 2018

Boss John Sheridan gave us his reaction to the home defeat at the hands of Stevenage on Saturday afternoon.

“We didn’t really get into our stride,” he said. “I praised them last week because we bounced back after a loss, but now, in a game where we expected them to do a lot better, we haven’t.

“I’ve said it many times before, you’re up and down like a yo-yo at this level. That’s why people think you’re mad to be a manager. We were on a high last week after the Bury game, and we came into today in a confident mood.

“I thought we started the game well and we had good chances to score goals, but we didn’t take them. I felt we were nearly doing this and nearly doing that during the game, and things just weren’t going our way. Too many times the final ball was overhit, or we played it on the wrong side, or we took the wrong option.”

“Stevenage were disciplined, but they’re a decent team on a decent run,” he continued. “Having said that, I still expected us to win. We had a number of good chances to score goals which could have changed the whole game. Unfortunately when we should have punished them, we didn’t, and that cost us.

“I think if we’d taken our chances in the first half – and some of them were gilt-edged – we’d have seen a different outcome. Sometimes you have to expect it. We’re in the second division, so it won’t be perfect every week. The lads kept going, but they’re disappointed in there, so I’ll have to pick them up.

“Team wise we had one or two who just weren’t at their game today. We were a bit flat and it’s not always easy to put your finger on why that is. I’ve been around this league for a while now and I expect this kind of thing. I don’t beat myself up too much over it because we know we’ll play better than that.

“It wasn’t a performance we wanted but that wasn’t for a lack of trying. The lads put the effort in but it’s just that bit of cleverness that’s missing. Like I say, the work ethic was there, but that’s something I expect, and I know I’ll get it. We huffed and puffed in the first half, and if we’d taken one of the chances it probably would have been a different game.

“What we need now is the consistency. I’ve just said to them in there, Gary Liddle gives me a 7.5 out of 10 every week. People have to learn from that and think about why he’s played nearly 600 games in his career.

“He looks the same week in, week out. I can’t have players turning up, with me not knowing what I’m going to get. I know what I’m going to get from Gary every week. I know I keep saying it, but it’s all about the little things.

“I know the lads will keep going, there’s nothing wrong with the work ethic side of the game. It’s about making the right decisions at the right times. Good players make those decisions and that’s why they’re good players, but we can do better.”

On the early departures from the game for Jack Sowerby and Richie Bennett, he explained: “Jack got a bang on his knee. He clashed knees with one of their lads and it was one of those painful ones, so we’ll have to see how it is on Monday.

“I thought he was probably one of our better players, but he had to come off. He’s a bit sore at the moment but we’ll assess him and take it from there. He hasn’t twisted it, or anything like that, but I don’t know if he’ll be fit for Tuesday.

“He’s a strong runner and he was causing them problems, so it disrupted us a little bit when he went off. Richie [Bennett] has a groin problem, which is why I took him off. He’s another who we’ll assess on Monday.”

With another home game coming up very quickly against Grimsby on Tuesday night, he told us: “We’ll just put thi out of the way now. We’ve lost the game, and luckily for us we’ve got Grimsby coming up, and we’ll go into that in a positive frame of mind and try and pick up three points.

“We’ll be looking to bounce back again. If I was a player, and as a manager, I like to try and bounce back quickly rather than let the week drag on. Mind you, I don’t want to keep talking about losing one then winning one, I want to be more consistent than that.

“I’ve had players knocking on my door saying they should be involved so I might give one or two other players a chance on Tuesday, they all want to play and think they should be playing, so I might have a look at one or two.”

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

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