Last Saturday’s Oldham game brought disappointment for the Blues as they exited the Carabao Cup at the first stage, with unforced errors largely to blame for what became a tough day.
Looking for a response to that disappointment, manager Chris Beech said: “The lads are professional, they’re disappointed in not just giving someone one a leg-up, but actually pushing them over the fence to help them get over.
“It was quite ridiculous, but it’s gone. We didn’t really apply what we’d done in the previous game. We conceded against Fleetwood, but the game was close, and we had more shots on goal than them. We let ourselves down on the corner but we were in that game and unlucky not to score.
“You could argue we were definitely on a par with the performance against Fleetwood, but Oldham wasn’t like that. We gave them a real start and we’re never winning after that.
“We know we need to cut out the individual errors, of course we do. I’ve often said this, Premier League players are generally superb, the speed, physicality, ability to be robust and get the knocks and crack on. The general speed they play at is ridiculous.
“Beyond that, you can play very well and at any stage anyone can make an individual error. They’re very difficult to deal with because there’s not a lot you can do about that. I don’t think it was under any pressure last Saturday – it was completely not right. It’s happened, it’s gone, and we look to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“A changing room’s a bit of a sanctuary, when they’re good they’re excellent, when they’re not you can alleviate some stress, and I definitely alleviated some stress at 4.45pm last Saturday.
“It wasn’t acceptable to give Oldham the opportunity to put us out of a cup competition, and that I do take very seriously. We can’t affect the past, it’s happened. Can we learn - yes, players have looked at it, reviewed it, and we look to make that better.”
Speaking more about the process of putting that manner of defeat to bed, he told us: “It’s Thursday, and I was asked the question about when I wanted the next game, and I wanted to play straight away. That’s just the way I am.
“I wasn’t happy at all, not because the lads aren’t trying their best, or they aren’t trying to do the right things, it came down to a lack of concentration, especially when you’ve gone through it for 45 minutes before the game. It was very disappointing – how long does it take – the players know what I’ve asked for, but I’ll keep that in house because I like physical apologies, not words.
“The good thing is that training has been excellent, but it means nothing. Ding, ding, the bell goes, game on at 3 o’clock on Saturday, let’s go. It’s about anything can happen, and individual errors can happen at any time or at any stage in a game.
“The lads have to take responsibility for that, because the way we play and what we want to do, the blueprint for that will be excellent. There’s freedom within a framework for what we work towards, but if you’ve got more attacking prowess and ‘ins’ it causes the opposition more problems and more chaos in their box.
“That’s what we’re working towards, and that’s why you need to adapt and try to support each other. We’ll have more support to the group with players coming back from injury, but even that doesn’t guarantee anything. They’ve still got to get going as individuals and then it’s all got to come together as a unit.”
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