Interview : Russell Slade : 08/01/2008
Russell Slade Gives His Post-Match Verdict On The Walsall Game
Russell Slade
Russell Slade
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Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade talked to reporter Chris Spittles on January 8th 2007 after his side had lost 0-2 at home against Walsall.

RS: I thought the result was ridiculous to be honest. I counted five opportunities that we had in the first five minutes and around 12 or 13 overall during the first period. Walsall probably had one half chance. So we are bitterly disappointed. Yes we should take our chances and we have to be ruthless. It is a harsh lesson. Walsall got the goal which then meant they had something to hang onto, and then they hit us on the break a bit.

I was disappointed with the defending. I thought that it was at best naive at times, and at worst probably suicidal. But people have got to do their marking jobs. I thought their big men dominated as the game wore on, particularly at the back. So it was no surprise that it was their centre half that my centre half has not really picked up, who has got a good contact on the ball and scored from a free kick that I thought never was really. That was just rubbing salt in the wounds.

We've not scored a goal, but we've had chances and we have got to be more ruthless than that. From my point of view, I need to put out a side at Southend that has a solid look about it

CS: You wanted your movement to cause Walsall problems and they did that, particularly in the early stages, particularly during the early stages.

RS: I don't think they got close to us at all. If you can forget the conditions for one minute, we got the ball down and we played. They were lashing it out and they didn't seem to have anything other than the fact that they were strong at the back and you have to give them credit for keeping the ball out of the back of the net. I think that fortune favoured them by and large. I thought there was some excellent movement and some excellent passages of play. But I don't want to be known as a nice team where if things don't go right on the day then you'll get beaten. I think you have to show another side and come out nice and strong. If things don't go wrong then at least you get something out of the game.

CS: Is it a little bit more disappointing in that since you've been at Yeovil, it's been your side that has been doing so well and in that sort of a game it would be your side that would come out with a clean sheet?

RS: I said to Terry Skiverton at the end of the game - that was us last season. We'd defend like that manfully and get blocks in and maybe get a little bit of fortune, although not as much as that by the way! Then we'd go on and win the game. That was a typical performance and we need to get back to that.

CS: And you'll be continuing your efforts to bring players into the football club?

RS: Yes, of course. That is ongoing. I've not stopped on the phone really since the window opened. It's a pain in the backside to be honest, but it has got to be done and we need to now shake it up and see if we can improve the quality of the player that we've got, whether it's a permanent signing or whether it's a loan signing.

CS: Is it just bringing players in, or do we expect players moving out on loan or onwards?

RS: I don't know yet. It might end up as a little bit of both.

CS: One of the plans was to get Marvin Williams and Marc Bircham on for a little bit longer today?

RS: Yes, I was pleased with Birch. He came on and he wanted to boss it. He got his body in the way. He's not the quickest man around the place, but he passes the ball well, he gets his body in there and he annoys the opponents. As I've said, a fit Marc Bircham at the start of the season would have been fantastic for us. But there are still plenty of games left for him and if he can stay injury free then I'm sure he's going to be playing more than he's not.

CS: Williams came on as well and now he is getting over his injury he is getting back into the pace of the game.

RS: Yes, he gave us some pace although his crossing needs to improve. But he gives us that little bit of added pace and we kept going forward. I thought we were a threat going forward all night but we can't put the ball in the back of the net.

Qu: You've got the three players (Skiverton, Warne and Rose) back on the weekend.

RS: Yes, and if you were to look at strong types and strong characters then you would say that perhap they are. Some of the football we played tonight was great. But I'd rather sacrifice a little bit of that football if it meant that we were a bit more solid and knew that at worse tonight that you were going to get a draw. To do that, you need your solid types placing, I'm afraid.

Qu: The free kick that led to the first goal was bizarre itself wasn't it?

RS: I didn't think it was a free kick. But then you've got to go and defend it. Scott hasn't defended it well enough. That is the ruthless side of it and Walsall have been ruthless and it's come off. Their centre half has come up and he has been ruthless. We missed an open goal in the first few minutes from one of our defenders who was in there and should have scored. That's the difference. It's about goals isn't it? What would the score have been if we had scored in the first five minutes. That's what you've got to ask yourself.

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Other Resources
Next Interview : 12/01/2008 : Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol after the 1-1 draw at Southend
Previous Interview : 01/01/2008 : Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol after the 1-0 defeat against Luton
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