United boss Chris Beech gave us his reaction to the Carabao Cup first round away defeat at Boundary Park.
“It’s frustrating because we had good structure, we were very comfortable for 20 minutes, but the wide free kick with a free header at the back post … what can you say?
“We worked on it yesterday [Friday], for close to 45 minutes, we know who it should be looking after that man, and he’s not done it, and it’s lapses of concentration like that which cost you. We told them what Oldham would do but it’s a free header, back post, it’s not acceptable, it isn’t.
“We played Fleetwood with great energy the other night and it was a corner that broke the flow of that up for us. I spoke to the chap who it was who was man marking the other night, and he did a better job today with his marking.
“Of course, we got stung and it was somebody else’s turn today. The first two goals are quite ridiculous, and if we don’t give Oldham that leg up we’re in the game, as we were when we were strong in that first 20 or 25 minutes.
“We knew that they would look to play out from the back, but they were never hurting us because we kept regaining the ball. It’s no good trying to play freely at 2-0 down because your inhibitions have gone by then.
“They should be doing that before a goal is scored and within the structure we had. You can’t do that if you give away that back post goal and then another silly one after it. It’s a poor mistake.”
“We end up chasing a game, but we completely dominated the second half, worked the goalkeeper a little bit and had a lot of half chances,” he continued. “But they’re chances where we’re not on them quickly enough and we can’t seem to get a clean shot off.
“We get to the line but we don’t pull it back into the right area, or to the right player, then there’s a long throw coming into the box that has about four ricochets, but we can’t get it over the line. There’s a free header in front of goal where it comes off the shoulder and goes over the bar, and Lawlor tips two or three over, so we had enough chances to have made it more difficult for Oldham.
“I said to the lads at half time that I wanted to see a clean sheet and for them to play with heart, because we needed to see that, and I wanted them to score the next goal. We didn’t manage that, and Oldham got their late goal when we were pushing people forward, but in a 100m race if you give someone a 50m start you’re going to have to go some to win it.”
On making sure reactions to setbacks are better, he told us: “The game has gone away a bit after two goals conceded but you’re still in a position to do something about it.
“The lads have got to take control and take responsibility. I do in everything I do in my life, so, you know, it’s a poor result that we’ve caused ourselves.
“I suppose they did play with more heart in the second half but if you put it all into one parcel I was pleased with how we started and with the structure of the team, but I was so disappointed with that first goal because it changed everything for us. Then the second goal, another poor one, takes the game away from you.
“We need the lads to turn the good things we’re seeing into results. That’s what we’re here to do. There are things which are tough on and off the pitch, that’s how it is at every football club, but what you’ve got to make sure is that when you’re out there you express yourself and enjoy yourself.
“We have to be extremely disappointed with this outcome. The preparation was excellent, the travel was great with a new bus, a lovely pre-match meal, the pitch is good – there are just no excuses.”
And on the work to be done ahead of next weekend’s game, he said: “It’s quite simple isn’t it, we’ve played two games and conceded six goals. You look at that and you can think that the players are no good.
“Then you look at the detail and you think they are good, but why aren’t they getting it right … so they’ve got to get it right. I think really we’ve got to pass more, but it’s no good starting at that point if you don’t defend the simple things correctly.
“League Two football, both boxes are so important. We didn’t defend ours and didn’t score in theirs. The middle bits are just the filling in bits. The corner the other day against Fleetwood and the wide free-kick today. When you give yourself a dead arm, you don’t chop it off with the next goal, and we did today.”
With the transfer window still open, he told us: “There’s no red hot news, nothing to tell you. It’s like I’ve said in the past, it depends on injuries.
“Omari and JJ look like they’re in good shape for next week. It’ll be good to get back in and get back at it, but I’ve just told the players to take full responsibility for this and take full responsibility for their recovery. From there we work as a group to put it right.”
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