United boss Chris Beech gave us his reaction to the Forest Green game shortly after full time on Tuesday night.
“In football there’s no divine right to win any game,” he said. “You have to be respectful of the sport we work in. It was unfortunate. Forest Green are a good team, they’ve done the double on us, so well done to them.
“I just felt within the game there was never any real clear-cut chances for them. I thought second half we were pushing really well, substitutes made a good difference, we were probably a little bit down in terms of change of pace and speed to get the ball back or do things on the ball, especially in terms of attacking prowess.
“I thought the substitutes took it up a notch. We found a good equalising goal but we gave up the opportunity to probably turn that into our win straight away. You could see by the reactions of the players that they were up for it.”
“The ref has given them a penalty and, looking at it, it is slightly in the box so you can’t argue about that,” he added. “I’m really confused about Brennan’s situation, his goal, if there’s a foul it’s on Brennan – it’s a penalty for us.
“We don’t go down screaming, we carry on and play. Because of that, we’ve been disadvantaged, because it’s a great goal that he scored. It was great to see Gime Toure score his first league goal, he was unfortunate to hit the post with his header, Ozzy’s unfortunate after getting across people in the six-yard box, which is good to see – centre-forward play.
“There were a couple of other things in the box we didn’t quite get right. Joe Riley was excellent for the goal, there were some really good, positive things, but ultimately we’ve been beaten and we like winning.
“It’s hard to take but it’s part of the sport we work in, we have to understand why we’ve lost, try and reflect on it to make us better, and I am very respectful of Forest Green, but we’ve got to make sure we look at why we ended up not being in the position to win the game.
“Obvious things, conceding straight away, but there’s reasons why, with two centre-halves dealing with one centre-forward, there’s no danger but it becomes danger, and we make a bit of a mess of it instead of being clean.
“Because we’re not clean in that work they can take advantage of the space, they get in front of our midfield and then drive, and everybody’s on the back foot. Very similar to the penalty, Callum Guy ends up covering at right-back; they had two chances near the end but that’s when we’re pushing for an equalising goal.
“I would imagine they had more possession on stats but ultimately I am disappointed with not getting a point.”
Speaking more about the goals conceded, with the Blues initially being in good attacking positions for both situations, he told us: “We were, but you have to control waves of attacks, on turnovers and things like that.
“We have to find our extra pass in the game again. I’ve just spoken to the boys, they’re very disappointed, but they’ve got to take stock, they’ve been through the mill.
“Jon Mellish is trying to find his lungs again, there are lots of people who’ve been infected, and who knows what it does to you. We’re carrying on in our sport, trying our hardest here to gain our three points for Carlisle United.
“Jon has to try and find his legs again, and so have a few others. And he will cos he’s honest and will work hard in getting that. That’s where we are at the moment. It’s very difficult for us. We can’t play Saturday, but we’ve not got what we want tonight, we have to go home and we’ve all got to deal with it.”
“What I’m really pleased about is the lads asked them questions,” he continued. “We did lose the game to a great free-kick and a penalty. Both decisions are correct, they’re fouls at that point, I did initially think it was outside the box but it’s inside.
“I am disappointed we don’t get supported for ours. Brennan Dickenson scores a great goal, he’s being fouled while scoring it, and the ref blows for a free-kick for them.
“It’s not nice losing, but I’m really pleased with our efforts. We were slightly down in the first half in terms of being able to put a footprint on them, and we didn’t make the most of the opportunities when they gave us the ball on the edge of their own box.
“Like I say, I think a few of the boys are still finding their legs and lungs after the virus. If they keep eating and sleeping right and if they keep working hard they’ll feel better, in time, and they’ll get there. Psychologically they’re annoyed at the moment because nobody likes to lose.
“It was two good teams going at each other in the first half and I spoke to the boys about that. I spoke to the lads about that. We were getting a little bit dishevelled, although often Forest Green actually passed to us.
“What we didn’t do at that point in the last third is take advantage. Omari’s made a decision to shoot, but not cut it clean, yet he’s got two or three options to pass nearer goal. I don’t mind him shooting but he has to try and get that better, but he knows that, so there’s no need to gesticulate with a player who’s doing ever so well and running ever so hard for us.”
United’s goal, of course, came from a moment of magic from midfielder Joe Riley who first won the ball, then put it on a plate for the Toure finish.
“As a team we’ll get back to those levels,” he commented. “As an individual Joe was there today and on Saturday. He was excellent wasn’t he.
“We’re pushing, we’ve got players that can push coming on as well. If it doesn’t drop in it doesn’t drop in. One thing we can guarantee is hard work and honesty to push something. They’ll know they’ve been in a game. We know we’ve tried our best to try and get our three points.
“Gime scores, Ozzy nearly does, Gime hits the post, he adds a different problem and challenge to the defenders he’s playing against. Ozzy’s very physical, you can see, he puts his body in and pushes and shoves and moves.
“His clean chance came too early, he passed to JJ but should have shot. It was good to see but unfortunately not good enough to help the team get a point or three points.”
On the feeling in the dressing room, he told us: “The lads are disappointed because they care, and that’s what you want to see.
“What I’ve told them is that they’re at halfway now and they’ve got 42 points, which is very good. It’s a tremendous effort and it’s only the second game they’ve lost at home, and you can’t criticise that.
“They’ve been through turmoil this month for all different reasons so we’ve got to make sure we stay as professional as we can, find our legs again and get back to doing what we know we can do.
“When we do it well we are a strong, powerful team and that’s why they need to understand why we lost, then understand why when we win, we win so well. They know that and, like I say, we’ll get there.”
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