Following yesterday's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Chesterfield at Huish Park, boss Gary Johnson felt the need to spend the post-match period lining up time on an individual basis for every member of his squad to run through some of the better and worse aspects of their play so far this season. Hence assistant manager Steve Thompson was sent out to meet the press and he answered the following questions after the game:
Qu: Steve, obviously another very disappointing afternoon for yourself, for Gary and the team. What did you make of the sides performance today?
ST: We were obviously disappointed with the result to start off with and we were a little bit disappointed with the score at half-time and with the first-half performance. With the second-half we created 10 good clear cut chances - not half chances - and obviously we didn't put one of them in which is disappointing in the fact we havenít finished them but gives us hope because we are creating them.
However two of the goals weíve conceded are both a problem in so far as they are both goals we shouldnít have conceded. One from our corner and the other from a clearance. You can't clear the ball 10 yards. It needs to go a lot further than that and weíve been punished. We seem to be getting punished for everything at the moment but thatís the way football goes.
You have little runs where things go for you and things go against you, at the moment itís going against us. Two missed penalties, missed chances and conceding goals. But weíve said to the lads itís very important for us all to stick together, itís important for me and Gary to look at areas where we can improve. Some very soon will find that they arenít up to this level and thatís for me, Gary and the staff to decide.
At the moment we are so disappointed that we couldnít put our chances away. I thought the crowd were fantastic, they stuck with us throughout the game and were very good at the end. I heard very few moans and groans, so I would like to thank them for that, the players noted it and we all noted it.
We are not used to being in this position but whether it's in this position or whether youíre at the top itís about winning football matches and showing character. Itís more about showing character with the position were in now and that will be very important for everyone to show that.
Qu: I guess the goals conceded today were another example of how mistakes at this level are punished, whereas as in League Two and the Conference you can get away with them a bit more?
ST: Yes, as you go up you get punished more and thatís been shown in the last two games. It was a little different earlier in the season when we werenít making the mistakes at the back but we werenít creating enough chances. Thatís certainly changed in respect to Ipswich, Swindon and today. Weíve created a lot of chances in all three games. We were on a run where we were not scoring but not conceding but then we started scoring and we started conceding. Itís obviously worrying to lose games and I will make no bones about the fact we are worried but we would be a lot more worried if we hadnít created a 10-12 clear cut chances in todayís game.
Qu: Were the players tired today? Two games in three days is a big ask, especially as it was quite hot today.
ST: It was quite hot. I thought at times both teams looked a little bit leggy. But I donít think we look anymore more tired than Chesterfield, who at the end when we were going strong trying to get the game back had a few players who looked tired. Players are going to be tired who have played two games in three days in hot conditions. Weíve roughly used the same players apart from a couple of exceptions so you will tire, thatís the nature of football. Itís a very athletic game nowadays and maybe more so than 10-15 years ago but no excuses, Chesterfield have come here and won. We had the chances to win the game and havenít taken them and itís disappointing.
Qu: The half-time substitution was Andy Lindegaard, was that tactical or did he get a knock?
ST: He didnít get a knock. We just felt he wasnít getting into the game enough from that position, which was hard for him because that position is a little bit new to him but it was something we wanted to try and do. It didnít really come off in that respect. But we went in at 1-1 at half-time and we wanted to freshen it up for the second-half. Like I said before, we created so many chances that we should have won the game but we didnít so no excuses.
Qu: You said at the beginning of the interview that some players may find themselves surplus to requirements, is that why Gary isnít here to talk to us now? Is he wheeling and dealing at the moment, trying to get some players in some players out?
ST: I wouldnít say heís wheeling and dealing. I think he wants to talk to the players because he realises itís an important moment. He feels the players need to know exactly whatís required and maybe some talk will go on about where futures lie but itís certainly not a case of wheeling and dealing today. Me and Gary will analyse the video as we always do. We donít need to with respect to chances but we do for other problem areas.
[Transcript by Richard Gibson. Websites and other media publications reusing material within this article must ensure that appropriate credit is given.]
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