United boss Chris Beech gave us his reaction to the 1-1 away draw at Oldham shortly after full time on Saturday evening.
“We’ve not been beaten, which I’m pleased about,” he said. “We scored a very good goal, it was a great header from a great second wave to the original set play.
“Their equaliser was quite easily avoidable, but of course we don’t avoid it. In the second half we had some really good chances, especially off a couple of goalkeeper spills down to Harry McKirdy’s feet, great play as well from Nathan, squared the ball to Harry inside the box and he just couldn’t hit the target.
“Considering the efforts from Wednesday, the recovery and trying to go full-tilt against this Oldham team that we’re trying to catch, I was very pleased overall. We created some other really good chances too.
“I want to be stood here telling you I’m really pleased with their efforts, because I am, but supporting that with three points, which it’s not. I can only say well done for their efforts on Wednesday/Saturday, it is an easy thing to throw at them, they’re footballers, they should be fit enough to do it, but it’s hard at times.
“But that’s their job and my job to make sure we are strong. We were strong today, but we should have seen it off and we didn’t. Having said that I’m really pleased with how we responded, really pleased with what we did in the game and really pleased with the lads overall.”
Speaking more about the importance of continuing the momentum from the excellent midweek display against Cardiff, he commented: “I could have swapped more players, changed more players, but it is vital to get some form of the continuity that we’re talking about.
“It’s just about getting the balance right when you make those decisions. Aaron Hayden coming back in, I know Oldham have five or six players over 6ft, so I felt it was important for us to match them at set plays, which we did.
“I thought the lads defended those elements pretty well. I’ll say it again though, I just want to come and stand up here and say very good and well done for three points, that’s what I want, but I can’t. The value of the efforts I think deserved to be represented with a win but again, it wasn’t, and we need to start making that happen.”
As the game ticked on it was Carlisle who looked the more likely to bag the winner, particularly with the quality of the chances created.
“We looked strong in the second half, I’d agree with that,” he said. “In the first half we got into it and it was a great goal from Byron.
“I just want him to be defending, happy and giving his best, and he has for me from the first minute I got here.
“After the break we started picking the pockets of the Oldham players, creating one against ones and there were a couple of spills by the goalkeeper. Our corners were also good and we looked like we were going to score off them.
“A lot of chances fell at Harry’s feet, especially second half. First half he could have squared it, we had three players there, but he decided to shoot. I asked the players at half-time, we’ve got to forgive him, he put the ball in the back of the net on Wednesday.
“My decisions, I can’t make them for him. In that last third he has to make the right one. If he takes the shot on - he did hit the target and worked the goalkeeper, but he needs to get it right.
“To get the real balance, I said, it would be nice to score one of those goals like Arsenal used to score, when you just square it and you’ve got an empty goal to put it in, but he didn’t do that.”
And on the goal conceded, he told us: “I’m just disappointed the ball got to the lad who ended up shooting but, at the same time, it was so unfortunate that it hit Max. That’s what wrongfooted Adam Collin.
“What can I say, maybe he would have saved it, you don’t know, the deflection makes it a definite goal. I think Gethin will be disappointed with it because we backed off a little bit too much.
“Smith got the better run on Gethin on that occasion, he got his shot off, and with it hitting Max it goes in.
“Even after that the disappointment of that the fans were behind us all the way. They’ll respond to effort and hard work, they did today, they did against Cardiff, they did against Bradford, they did against Walsall, Forest Green twice. They’re fantastic.
“What can I say, the fans have been brilliant. I can only but commend their efforts, their voices, and their support.
“I’ll say it again, what I want for them is the win. I want to stop talking about how we’ve been positive and the team looking like doing it, I want to start living it.”
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