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Interviews

Cox post-Bolton Wanderers (H)

24 November 2020

First team manager Neil Cox provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after his side was beaten 1-0 at home by Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday Night.

An early goal in the second half by Peter Kioso put the Wanderers in the lead, after Cox felt United had made some good opportunities at the end of the first.

The boss said: “We're disappointed with the result really, and I knew it was going to be a difficult game, but I tried to be brave and play three up at the front. I thought we'd try to close them down, as the front three worked really well in the first half and we had some really good opportunities. There was a great chance from a set play, but I don’t think there was really a lot in the game.

“In the second half we just seemed to come out really slow, didn’t do what we have been doing and didn’t really pass it well at all. We just went long too soon. I think we conceded a really poor goal, and we had enough opportunities to sort it out. Our one-versus-one defending wasn’t good enough and we got punished for it.”

Speaking about the chances United created in the first half, he said: “We need to take our opportunities and we need to get people in the right areas. We got some in the areas - it’s just that final pass, or final cross or final delivery wasn't good enough on the night.”

With it being the fourth league game in 10 days, following a prolonged spell out for numerous players due to the COVID-19 situation at the club, he added: “I think we were a little tired. I didn’t want to change too many people because we've been on the run of form. I was very wary about getting injuries and I'm really worried about that, and obviously we've got a few tonight which is disappointing.

“I thought we'd get something out of the game and when Fela (Olufela Olomola) came off injured at the end and we ended up with ten men (because a final substitution couldn't be made as United had already used their three slots as per the new EFL rules) it made it even harder.

"The lads are really gutted that they haven’t got anything out of the game, and that's a good sign. I thought it was overall not too bad a performance but we didn’t get anything out of the game."

Going into details about the injuries, it was mentioned that Olomola came off due to a knee injury, while Cox added: “Junior (Brown) has got a sore thigh, Manny (Onariase) has got a sore groin and Harrison (McGahey) has got a sore back, but we had to carry on because we are down to the bare bones.

“So we kept them on the pitch and tried to push it, and I could tell in the last 15 minutes they were dropping deeper and deeper. The two central midfield players (Lewis Spence and Alfie Beestin) have been excellent for the last four games, but they had a really good go and I must give them credit for that.”

United now have a week’s rest before the next game at Harrogate Town. Cox added: “Some will get a couple of days' rest, the boys that haven’t played will be in training and we will do some really good training sessions. But some boys will be wrapped up in cotton wool. I think a lot of the boys will be in with the medical staff and looked after.

"Then we go to Harrogate next Tuesday - a tough game away from home, and we have got to be raring to go and start again. We need to back to what we have been doing really well over the last four games and start this run again.”

See much more from Neil Cox and Mark Howard on iFollow Iron.


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