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MANAGER: Credit to the players because they responded well

John Sheridan with his reaction to the Cambridge away win

9 September 2018

United boss John Sheridan gave us his reaction to the away win at Cambridge shortly after full time on Saturday afternoon.

“We got a bit of a break going into half time at 1-1 and then I thought were good in the second half,” he said. “We looked a totally different team and some players looked different.

“I’ve ended up coming away feeling very pleased because it didn’t look like we had any chance of winning after about half an hour. We got away with it early on because they could have scored a couple more. We looked all over the place because we just didn’t get going.

“The good thing was that we got the goal at a very good time in the game. That came from getting a good ball into the box at a time when we weren’t playing well. It meant we went in on level terms when we could have been on a real downer with the way we’d been playing.”

Speaking about the tactical switch to a 4-4-2 midway through the first half, which sparked a much better showing from the visitors, he commented: “I shouldn’t have to change my team to get a reaction. Most of the time we’ve been playing the formation we started with anyway, and I know everyone is comfortable with it.

“We shouldn’t look uneasy with anything, but we did, and that’s where I keep reminding people that I want them to be positive. We did look better with things after the change of shape and the goal helped to lift us more again.”

And the manager admitted that going into the break all-square had given him the opportunity to speak to the players about what was an important 45 minutes to come.

“I’m not frightened to pick players out in the dressing room, so I had a few words to say,” he told us. “I told the lads to get out there and show a bit of belief in themselves and I wanted them thinking that they could win the game. They probably didn’t like what I said at half time but they took it on board and they responded.

“The difference between winning and drawing is two points, and that’s a lot on any weekend, so I wanted them to go for it. The good things is that they responded really well. I thought we looked comfortable when we got back out there and the second goal was probably coming. It was a great finish from Ashley Nadesan and we controlled the game quite well after that.

“To be fair, Cambridge are a good team and they have some good players. They’re bright up front and Jabo Ibehre uses his experience to take care of the ball and keep it high up the pitch. They caused us one or two problems with pace at times, but we were lethargic for much of the first 45 minutes and we were mostly the cause of our own problems.”

“The thing is, other than changes I had to make, I kept the team that played at Mansfield,” he explained. “I gave them the benefit of the doubt because I could easily have changed a few more. Regan Slater was excellent on Tuesday night, Gary Miller played well and Jack Sowerby is desperate to play. I could have used them.

“I didn’t, I went with the team that didn’t perform at Mansfield, but I thought I’d made the wrong decision after about half an hour. Credit to them, they responded well, and it was a good comeback.

“When you sort it out and you end up winning the game, it’s a massive relief. I still have to take the things I didn’t like from the game and work on them, because there are still things we shouldn’t be doing. We won’t always get away with them, so I want us to stop making ourselves vulnerable.”

Speaking more about the goals from his front men which won his team the game, he commented: “Like I say, the goal from Ashley Nadesan was a good one. He showed the instinct of a striker. He took a touch and put it away well.

“Richie Bennett will have enjoyed his header. It took a while to go in, it was like it happened in slow motion, but he got on the end of a decent cross from Jamie Devitt and that’s what can happen if you put balls into that area and if your strikers are in the right place.

“Adam Campbell should have scored to make it more comfortable, but it’s three points and we’ll take them. That would have been a really good goal football wise. Adam looked bright when he came on. I love him as a player, I think he’s really intelligent in his football, and he’ll have a big part to play.

“It’s good for strikers to score goals, but I don’t mind who gets them. We’re a team, we do things together, and whoever scores we all know that ultimately it helps us to win games.”

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

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