United put on another good performance in the stormy conditions at Crawley on Saturday and boss Chris Beech spoke at full time about the frustration felt in the dressing room at not having picked up the three points, particularly with the quality of football played and chances created.
“The lads came off the pitch feeling agitated, I’ll be honest with you, there was a bit of passion in the changing room after the game,” he said. “The defenders are resolute, forwards haven’t scored, so it’s kind of like, well you do your job, I’ll do ours.
“We’re doing all of it. I don’t mind a little bit of that because it means they care. We’ve got to direct that care, and in the performances they’re giving us that’s exactly what they are doing.
“As a manager you can only say well done, keep going, and you’re so close to getting on a really strong winning run.”
With 24 shots and numerous other good moments created, there was a definite sense of amazement that at least one of them hadn’t gone in.
“I’m unsure myself as to how we didn’t win it,” he told us. “We missed some gilt-edged chances but I’m very pleased with how the team went about it in horrific conditions.
“I think Crawley have scored eight in their last three home games, so for us to keep a clean sheet, be the dominant team, pass it more than the opponent and create more chances, I’m very pleased with the efforts.
“We’re keeping our shape and we’re doing our jobs in games and that’s good to see. You’ve got to have structure to what you’re doing. Like Keith [Hill] often said at Rochdale, have some freedom, but have it within frameworks.
“I thought Omari [Patrick] played his lone striker role well, I still want more from him, but I thought he did very well. He was backed up by up with Lewi Alessandra and Nathan Thomas, and we were solid in midfield.
“Mike Jones wanted to be on the ball and you’ve probably never seen him attack as much as he did on the second half for a long time. He was getting on the ball and running and it helped us to get momentum.
“To be fair, we’ve talked about having 24 shots, perhaps we should have had 30 because Jonah, Nathan, Elliot and others probably could and should have had a couple more. But, to be fair to the lads, we’ve come here and fought hard, and I think we’ve been excellent in our last three games.
“We’ve looked to get forward and we just haven’t been getting that little bounce or drop. That’s football and we just have to keep going. We’re all feeling positive and that’s why we’ve seen the progression.
“We had a five point gap to the relegation place when I first came here and now it’s 13, and we’ve done that because we work very hard. I get the staff and players working hard, I work very hard, so to get some progress … I think that’s normal course for those sorts of actions and thoughts.
“We’ve just got to keep doing it more. We’ve done nothing yet as far as I’m concerned because I want us to be winning games. I keep saying it, but that’s why we’re all here.
“We’ll get on our training pitch when we can and we’ll practice that last third entry - did their keeper win man of the match? He has to for that save from Nathan’s pull back! What can I say, well done to him, unlucky to us.”
With United in action against Morecambe at Brunton Park next Saturday, he commented: “The boys are getting a couple of days off now, they deserve it. I want the whole club to take some stock, reflection and some rest.
“They didn’t get home until last on Saturday night, that carries into Sunday’s recovery, you don’t really sleep after the game, it’s hard. Monday should be a good day for the lads to get their wives a belated Valentine’s card, or maybe not, and be ready for Tuesday’s session.
“Injury wise I’m just pleased to get through a game without one. Josh Kayode is running, which is good, and he’s taking sone injections which are some sort of mixture of blood and all sorts, I don’t know what it is.
“He’s doing the right things to get back quickly. I hope to see Harry McKirdy on the training pitch on Tuesday, that will be good. Callum Guy, I think we’ve been quite fortunate. He’s going to miss a bit of time with a medial ligament strain, but I think that’s quite good news considering.
“When you watch the tackle back he did go in fully-fledged, full- bodied, and he was in a no-win situation at that point, so I’m thankful it wasn’t a cruciate or a nine month injury. He definitely won’t be back over the next two or three games but I’m very hopeful we’ll see him back and playing before the end of the season.
“He’s got to see a surgeon for advice, so it might not be as clear-cut as I’m saying here, but hopefully that meeting will go well.”
And his final word was for the 263 fans who braved the driving rain and wind to cheer their team on.
“It was a horrible day but they were there yet again,” he commented. “The supporters will be tired after that, never mind players. They’ve come a long way to try and cheer on the victory, they’ll be a bit jetlagged getting home in this weather.
“It’s a long journey, but I’m thankful they’ve come and supported the boys. The boys have lived it, dealt with it physically, and now we all just need a bit of rest.”
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