Manager Chris Beech gave us his reaction to the Boxing Day 3-3 draw with Bolton Wanderers shortly after full time on the day.
Seeing the game as a reminder that you don’t always get what you deserve from your performance, he said: “No, and if you want to play higher you’ve got to understand what makes the difference.
“We’ve got to make sure we stick to our traits, because from a footballing perspective I was pleased with the performance. I was pleased with the opportunities we created. We scored some good goals but we got stung in the end.
“They managed to get three shots on target and each one of them was a goal. Well done to them for their comeback, but we played well enough to win. I think we had about 18 shots with half on target, so we could have scored a lot more than we did today.
“It happens a lot in football. Well done to Bolton, we can’t change it now, we just move on.”
“Of course we’re frustrated, there’s no need to hide it,” he continued. “We deserved more but we didn’t get it, so it is what it is.
“These things happen, and there’ll be a lot more things happen between now and the end of the season.
“The lads are disappointed in there but we’ll dust ourselves down and make sure they understand. I think we were in control of our own destiny, even with Bolton’s resurgence of energy towards us at the end.
“We still had opportunities to win it, even at 3-3. We hit the bar and the post, but we didn’t get another goal when we needed one. That’s what makes the difference.
“We aren’t happy with the way we conceded, and that’s something we have to learn from. The boys are obviously disappointed because there’s been people free in our six-yard box for two of the goals.
“The first goal is just really lucky from a Bolton point of view with the deflection on the cross. From our point of view, the second two goals are very avoidable.”
On three fantastic goals scored by the home side, he commented: “They were good, and we should have had more.
“I was really pleased with how we started the game and it was in that period that we could have had two or three more. We’ve scored some great goals in free play and we will continue to do that, because we have some exciting players who can take players on and I want them to keep doing that.
“I really enjoy the way we perform and play, we do it because we’re trying to base it all on winning games and gaining points.”
And with the late news on captain Nick Anderton’s isolation, it was another day where the squad had to adapt to unexpected changes.
“We have to be able to adapt, because that’s what life is,” he insisted. “It’s never straightforward, so you have to get on with whatever is thrown at you.
“You have to progress with what you’re about whatever the circumstances are, and that’s what we did. I’m very proud of the boys for the work they did.
“I thought the back four did very well. I don’t think that should be judged on the three goals we conceded. It just seemed to go that way in this strange game of football that we all play in.
“The wind was against us, the rain was coming in at us and it was difficult to try to get across the halfway line. We managed it and we still created a lot of chances. It’s strange how, within scorelines, referees deem what is a foul and what isn’t, and yet if it was a level playing field … it’s just psychology.
“I’m not going to be too up or too down because the performance overall was very good. We’re just unfortunate that they had three shots on target and all of them went in.
“To be fair with their first goal I thought it was quite fortunate. We managed to sort of get back and block the cross but sometimes it gives them something to hold onto. The deflection on the cross looped up perfectly for the header, sometimes that happens.
“Bolton were fortunate, they didn’t really deserve anything in the first half and in the second had something to hold onto. I thought the game was played in good spirits, there was a bit of an horrendous tackle on Jack Armer in the first half, it’s amazing really, almost as if the incident didn’t actually happen, but it did, that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Looking again at that tackle, and other situations where the scorer of the equaliser could have been given his marching orders earlier, the manager told us: “I think he got away with a master challenge in the first half, and the ref just, I don’t know, it must have been Cinderella or Aladdin, because it disappeared and he just didn’t see it.
“These things happen, but I’m very excited because even with the weather as it was we played well and could have scored more.
“I’m very pleased with how we play, it’s fast, attacking football, aggressive to get the ball back. I can relate to it as a player, I played that way, and I think it induces the lads to do even more when they’re doing it, and brings out great moments within them, hence the quality of the goals you see.
“We didn’t get the win but we’re still in a good position. I’m very pleased for everybody, for the supporters, they’ve had to be very patient not watching any games.
“We were very fortunate to be one of three clubs today with supporters, and obviously we wanted to deliver, but we didn’t quite get that right even though everybody can see the performance merited three points, and we didn’t quite get them.”
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