United boss Steven Pressley spoke more about the things he wants to see from his team going forward as preparations for the visit of Salford City on Saturday continue.
“If we look back to Tuesday night, I actually thought in the opening 15 minutes we were very good,” he told us. “I thought we started the game the more aggressive team, we penned them back and we did a lot of good things, but it was the goal that changed the game.
“I don’t think we lost ground because of the physical aspect; it was that we didn’t play. We absolutely didn’t do the things that we’re good at.
“A lot of our game comes from when you play your immediate press and your recoveries, all of these things come from when you play. But if we don’t play then we don’t get a lot of our game going, and that’s when we cause ourselves problems.”
“It is a fact that the first goal spooked us,” he continued. “We stopped doing what we’d been doing in the early part of the game. For 20 minutes after the goal we looked unrecognisable from the team I know we are. That was the most disappointing aspect.
“When you have a team which has been together for a short period of time moments like that goal spook you. We have to be better at dealing with key moments in our defensive third.
“We saw that we could be much better after the break. We dominated most of the second half and we had a lot of the ball. We passed in the manner that we want to, but the big thing is that we must continue to improve on what we are. If we do that I think we can be a really good side.
“I actually thought we made a lot of great moments on Tuesday. I was disappointed with the lack of opportunities on Saturday, but not against Cheltenham. For an away team I thought we created a lot of good openings.
“A lot of those opportunities came through our football by building the play and by being aggressive with our passing. Some of our football was terrific, but we have to get better at producing that for much longer spells.
“The other aspect is that if we aren’t playing in a period as well as we want to the one thing we can’t do is concede. We went into half time with a mountain to climb but the players reacted really well to that. They gave a good second half performance but when you play as well as that you have to take something from the game.”
“We have to respond on Saturday,” he concluded. “Our job is to win that game, there’s no doubt about it. “We know that we must get back to winning ways in the league very quickly.
“We want that for ourselves and for our fans, because I think everybody knows how much hard work has been done. It’ll come, because we have a very good group of players, and they’re going through that process now of getting to know each other. We do feel that there is some very exciting football ahead.”