United boss John Sheridan saw his side twice come from behind before then going on to win their first Checkatrade Trophy group game against Morecambe on Tuesday night.
We spoke to him about what had been an entertaining encounter shortly after full time.
“I was pleased with the way we played,” he said. “We made the game a lot more difficult than it should have been, but it was pleasing to get a win after losing on Saturday.
“I like winning, it’s a good habit, and I want the players to be like that as well. We’ll keep trying to win games, whatever competition it is, because that’s what we need to be about.”
“I thought there were some good things in our performance,” he added. “But, if you look at their goals compared to our goals, there’s a lot of difference. We’ve worked hard and played really good football to get the goals we scored, then I’m looking at our defending and how they’ve scored their goals, and we need to do a lot better.
“Even at the end, we were making poor decisions and making ourselves vulnerable. It’s not through their play, it comes from our play. I was pleased with the way we played overall, we passed it well and the second goal was an excellent goal from us.”
Speaking more about the decision making which has caused some frustration, he said: “If we keep making decisions like we did today we will get punished. I think that’s what happened in the home games here last season, when you were winning games but ended up drawing.
“It’s something we’ve got to get out of our game. We’ve got to stop allowing teams to get chances which come from us making wrong decisions. I felt they had two or three chances where they should have scored, and it was all from our own wrongdoing, so we need to get that out of our game.
“At the same time, we could have scored a few more goals as well. I’m pleased overall because we’ve won the game and it was a good performance. Sometimes I get a bit carried away with myself and I have to remember we are in the second division, so maybe I expect too much.”
With three very good finishes and a host of other good chances notched up in what was an exciting contest, he spoke about the importance of recovering from set-backs during the 90 minutes.
“We probably could have scored five or six goals in the game but when you go behind, in whatever competition, it’s always good to come back and win the game,” he commented. “I’ve got a lot of time for Jim [Bentley] and Kenny, and the staff at Morecambe, with how they stay in the league because it’s well known that they haven’t got the biggest budget.
“I think they do a brilliant job and they always make life very hard for you. They’ve made a few changes, but they still came to win the game, as did we.”
On the quality of the goals scored, he told us: “I was pleased for Jerry [Yates] that he got his goal. He gives us effort and determination as well as discipline for the team, so I’m just pleased he’s got a goal at last.
“That’s what’s missing from his game, and it was an excellent finish. All of the goals were very good, and it’s good to get different players on the scoresheet. Macca’s [Macaulay Gillesphey] was a brilliant goal as well, but I’m not really bothered who scores the goals as long as it helps us to win games.”
And the overall performance was exactly what had been asked for following the disappointing weekend away result.
“We knew we should have done a lot better at Mansfield on Saturday so it was important to get a reaction tonight,” he said. “I know some people think these games don’t matter, but it does matter to us.
“It can be healthy for the club if we go far in this competition, and one or two players have come in and given me a difficult decision when it comes to picking my team for Cambridge.
“The other thing for us, and I’ve been saying this for a while, is that home form is massive if you’re going to go anywhere at this level. When you’re at home you’re expected to win games, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, and I want the fans and the players to be comfortable with that expectation. Winning games is what we want to be doing.
“What I will say is that when we passed it around we looked a really good team. We know we’ve got to score goals to win games and I want to try and play attractive football. The most important thing is winning the game, but if you can do that by playing good football, then even better. We’ve got to get this winning mentality I keep talking about, whichever way it comes.
“I can say all I want, but once the lads go over the line it’s down to them on the day. Adam [Collin] has made a great save at the end, and everyone has got their jobs. Everyone is different and they all add different things for the team, so it’s a good result for us.”
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