“Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.”
General George S Patton.
Well the bottom was hit on Saturday. I hope you will forgive me if I do not intrinsically dissect the game, as even though time heals, it does not change, and this was the worst day as an AP player for many of us.
As a defensive unit, I think it was fair to say we were toilet – McLoughlin and Simpson never got to grips with a deep lying striker, and both made mistakes that led to early goals. The third goal was from a corner, where a mass of tangerine shirts rather pathetically let a ball come over and be dispatched.
In the second half, we made a game of it for 15 minutes, and were duly awarded with a rather harsh penalty, but you have to roll with the breaks. We missed it and I saw the team in front of me wilt. Within minutes OP’s got their 4th with a slight suspicion of handball, but we got an iffy penalty before that so you cannot complain.
The last 3 goals came and went, all defensively poor.
There are a few things I think it would be fair to say we need to take from the game;
1. Chris Simpson was an absolute hero in goal. He stood firm as the rest of us seemed to lose interest and without him I think they could have doubled their tally. We have a quality keeper and need to protect him better.
2. Talk is cheap. We all talk a good game, and in the changing room after plenty of people had their say. Let your actions on the pitch do your talking. I do not want a culture of attack blaming defence and vice versa. I could see plenty of players who stopped chasing second balls on Saturday who I could accuse of not trying, but I will not.
3. WE NEED TO TRAIN. We have a new facility on Thursday and I expect to see the entire squad there.
4. When given jobs, do it. For the 3rd week running, we have to not done our jobs on set pieces.
5. At the moment our backs are against a wall – Do we come out fighting on Saturday or wilt under the pressure?
I will finish where I begun – We are at the bottom at the mo, and if YOU are not prepared/able to bounce back, you are not welcome. The season starts on Saturday, and we have a lot to prove to the club and each other – time to ‘Man Up’ and fight!