Head coach Chris Beech left the technical are at full time on Saturday frustrated that his side hadn’t seen out he victory but also pleased with his first 90 minutes in charge of the team.
“We couldn’t have asked for any more from the group,” he told us. “The lads played with so much heart and they tried to stick to the task, knowing that they were going to get questioned and pressurised by the quality of the opponent.
“I saw some Forest Green players on the floor at the end because they went full tilt and they didn’t beat us. We had two very good goals and we were the ones who looked like picking up a third, and we nearly got it.
“I just want us to get rid of conceding scrappy goals. If we got rid of that, that would have been a prime-time performance on Saturday. I enjoyed it, but I always want more. I’ve really liked meeting some of our supporters in and around the ground.
“It’s all very humbling and I’m thankful to David Holdsworth and the board for supporting me. I just want to do my best for this football club, with every sort of knowledge and experience I’ve ever had.”
The tactical change at the weekend brought some new faces into new roles with the United boss admitting that he wanted to make life as difficult as possible for the hosts.
“I had a look at how Forest Green play and my personal favoured formation is the one they play (3-5-2) but I felt if I matched them up we could cause ourselves issues,” he explained. “They’ve been doing this for two years so they’re better at it. I wanted to get under their skin a bit with the way we lined up and I think we did that.
“What I have seen is that we get to the 60-minute mark and players are going into the red zones in terms of fitness. We need to stick at it harder and you have to see it through to 96 or even 97 minutes to support that defensive unit.”
“I thought we got that support very well with Canice [Carroll],” he added. “Was he better than normal (the assembled reporters agreed he was) ... he was? Good. I’ve just told him in there, he’s got a big heart, a strong stomach for the game, but his qualities need to get better and that’s something we will work on with him every day.
“The other change I made was to bring Aaron Hayden in. That wasn’t a risk because I was fortunate in that I came and watched Wolves play Carlisle. In that game I saw physicality, speed and cover, defensive things that are massive attributes.
“Young players are taught possession, but he’s a defender that needs to get better at possession. Against Forest Green he was absolutely brilliant but I think he will be better against teams that are less possession-based.
“I just see him growing, getting stronger, and making a real physical impact on this squad. We need that and we need all of these players to be working so hard that they’re all saying – hey, I want to play.
“The other player I’ll mention is Mike Jones. I watched the Dulwich game on TV and I know Mike from Oldham, having been at Rochdale a long time. I watched West Ham in the early parts of the season, saw the emergence of Declan Rice, I see Mark Noble playing further forwards …he was excellent in the PL and I thought to myself, inheriting the situation we have here that, Jonah, come on, you can do that. And what we get is in the 93rd minute he was making a right wing run. That’s brilliant.”
Looking back again at what had been a hectic week, he commented: “It’s been unbelievable, it really has. It’s been the same for everybody, with the speed it all happened, and within that Jarrad Branthwaite was ill and Hallam Hope was on antibiotics, really struggling.
“Harry [McKirdy] unfortunately had a family member pass away, so he needed to go to a funeral, and there’s obviously the process where everybody is still getting to know me. It’ll be good to get back together this week so we can all start to settle down a little bit.”
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