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Interviews

Cox post-Forest Green (H)

10 October 2020

First team manager Neil Cox reacted to iFollow Iron after his side suffered defeat to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

Aaron Jarvis, making his first ever EFL start, gave United the lead early on but the away side hit back through a Jamille Matt hat-trick, which was completed late on, and Matthew Stevens' stoppage time goal.

Cox said: "We were disappointed, especially after being well in the game for the first 25-to-30 minutes. We pressed them, played three up with two wingers, got in people's faces, closed people down, went one up and had a good chance to score a second.

"We then collapsed a little bit and got sucker-punched by League Two football, with a long ball down the middle - one flick on, followed by a tap-in (for their first goal).

"When the second goal came, we conceded it from a set-play six yards out which isn't good enough. We tried hard in the second half to get people to play, and I changed the formation a little bit to be brave, with two No 10s in Jake (Taylor) and (John) McAtee, and also two widemen on the pitch. We probably overloaded ourselves but we just went for it a little bit and got suckerpunched at the end.

"The third goal really disappoints me, especially when someone is 6ft 3in and they don't get picked up in the middle of the pitch, and score from six yards. Any other time we should be dealing with them.

"We'd done our homework on how we wanted to play, on the front foot, but we were just a bit naive at times and a little bit of know-how to see the game through to 1-1 at half-time would have been better, but to go 2-1 down at half-time meant we had to change things and try to chase the game.

"If we'd gone in 1-1, we'd have got our legs back a little bit because we were blowing chasing them. They're a good footballing side but the goals they scored were too simple, with the exception of the fourth one where he (Matthew Stevens) shoots from 25 yards and it goes into the top corner.

"We have to work really hard to create opportunities and at the moment teams aren't having to work too hard to create chances against us, and they had some easy goals today. We dust ourselves down, go again and get ready for the next challenge."

George Hornshaw looked to pick up a knock late on, and Cox said: "George has been struggling for a while (with a knock). He's been getting cramp and has had a hamstring problem, but to be fair he's pushed himself really well, doing a good job for us there (at right-back)."

A number of players will receive game time for the Under-23s at Huddersfield Town on Wednesday, with Cox continuing: "The lads who haven't been involved, who need games, will play. We need to get a couple of the boys back fit and strong, and find a couple to play into my first team because one or two have been playing with injuries. One or two need a rest at the moment and I need others to step up to the mark."

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