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Alexander reacts to Shrewsbury loss

30 September 2017

Manager Graham Alexander provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after the 2-0 away defeat at league leaders Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

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Photos: Shrewsbury Town (A)

30 September 2017

Stefan Payne and Carlton Morris both netted as United suffered their second loss of the League One season, but Alexander felt his team deserved more for their efforts.

ON THE MATCH…
GA: It was disappointing. We didn’t get the goals we needed, and I felt we deserved, before they scored. We started well, had some good opportunities and their goalkeeper made some really good saves. Their first goal came out of nothing really – from a set-piece, and for us it’s a poor goal to concede. That changed the complexion of the game. They got the goal and it meant they could defend in numbers. We tried a couple of different things in our attempts to get the equalising goal. With that, we left ourselves open at the back and that resulted in the second goal. We wanted to gamble and took a big risk, and we knew we were leaving ourselves open. If we hadn’t done that, I don’t think they would have scored that goal. We need to find that spark in front of goal really to give ourselves the best chance of winning. We can’t only rely on our defensive side to win us games week-in, week-out. We know what we need to improve on. It was stop-start for us on the day. We didn’t have enough of the whole team on top of their game after the goal. It became a bit fragmented, and that was due to me changing the shape (during the game) as well and doing things we don’t normally do. I wanted to get as many attackers out there as we could, to try and get the equaliser. It’s disappointing we’ve come away with no points really, because I feel we did enough to at least take a point.

ON THE TWO CHANGES AHEAD OF THE GAME…
GA:
Funso Ojo is a little bit sore. He spoke to us on Friday when we travelled down and he wasn’t feeling great in his body. I spoke to him about playing and what he’d be like. He wasn’t 100 per cent confident, so we brought Sam Mantom in. Paddy Madden has worked extremely hard for the team and grafted so well, but I think he’s come to a road block a little bit in front of goal. I wanted to free that up for him, and sometimes being out of the team for a game can help that, so that was my thinking. Sometimes, I have to be fair to the squad too. If we’re looking to score goals and we’re not scoring lots of them then I need to look to give other people the opportunity to do that. If we’d have scored from a couple of those early chances, then I’m sure we’d have kicked on.

ON HOW TO REACT NOW…
GA:
It’s always about the next game. We have to take the lessons, and work on the positives and negatives, and then go on the training ground to get as much into the players as possible - although we haven’t got that much time before the next game. We have to go into the match on Tuesday looking to be on the front foot, aggressive in our play and win the game. When we do that we’re a very good team. Tuesday is the next opportunity to do that, so that’s what we’re looking to do.

EARLY THOUGHTS AHEAD OF THE CHECKATRADE TROPHY GAME VS GRIMSBY…
GA:
It doesn’t matter to me who we play, we always want to go out there and show what we’re about, and justify the support we get. It’s a game we want to win, but every game is like that. That’s how competitive we want to be. We must give 100 per cent commitment.

ON ANY KNOCKS FROM THE SHREWSBURY GAME…
GA:
Duane Holmes has a bit of a dead leg, but I can’t think of anyone else who came off struggling. We’ll see how they are on Monday and pick the team according to what we have available.

ON THE AWAY FOLLOWING OF ALMOST 400…
GA:
It’s brilliant and they were really supportive. We’re frustrated as a group, because we didn’t do ourselves full justice out there and give the supporters what they wanted - that was a victory to come home with. It was great to see that number travel and we appreciate their support. We’ll try as hard as we can next time to send them back with smiles on their faces.

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