Glovers boss Steve Thompson believed a tactical switch by Tranmere at half time caused the downfall of his side at Prenton Park last night. A mid-point 1-0 lead turned into a 4-1 defeat in the freezing north-west and Steve answered the following questions after the game:
Qu: Steve, the first half was OK but in the second half it all went a bit wrong didn't it?
ST: Yes, Tranmere changed their gameplan at half time and went a lot more direct and we struggled to cope with that.
Qu: The defence played well in the first half but they got torn from place to place during the second half and Tranmere got in a bit too easily a few times.
ST: I wouldn't blame it just on the defence. You defend as a team and you attack as a team. Tranmere were certainly a lot more direct in the second half and we didn't cope with it as a team.
Qu: It would have been a difficult balancing act for you after the game as well, because obviously confidence is low but you have got a big game coming up in a couple of days time where you want the confidence to be up for that one. So you have to balance that confidence carefully.
ST: Yes, you have to say certain things that you think. You have to bear in mind that there is a game in two days but people have to know where we think it went wrong in the second half. That's why we have had a 20 minute discussion in there about it.
Qu: How were you feeling at half time? You had the lead so you must have been positive at that point?
ST: Yes, I was positive. It was a football game in the first half but in the second half it became a bit of a niggly battle. It was like two different games, wasn't it, and we didn't cope with the second one in the second half.
Qu: What have you said to the players after the game?
ST: I am just saying to you what happened and what I've said to them obviously needs to stay in the changing room. That was my analysis of the two halves and we have got to be better to cope with that aspect in the second half.
Qu: And the team as a whole let themselves down in the defensive display - is that what you're saying?
ST: Yes, I think it was all over the pitch where we were found wanting. Obviously we have brought up individual things in there that led to goals. But Tranmere have had a golden second half. They've had maybe five chances and four of them have gone in, so we have to remember that, but we certainly can't play a half like that.
Qu: That substitution made a big difference and Calvin Zola was a big threat.
ST: Yes, they changed their gameplan as a result, went far more direct in the second half and we failed to cope with that.
Qu: Are you concerned that your defence got turned too easily for a couple of their goals?
ST: Yes, we brought out the individual points in the dressing room. For the first goal the ball was allowed to be fed in too easily into that area but then you have got to defend that one-on-one properly. However you shouldn't be allowing the ball to come into the edge of the box to leave a one-on-one. So there are technical and tactical points for us to work on. We will watch the video on the way back and see where those problems arose. Much as though we already know them, watching them a second time will either reenforce that view or show something slightly different.
Qu: As you look towards the Bristol City game, are there any injuries as you start to prepare for it?
ST: Yes, there are a few little knocks but we will have to look at that and assess it on the Thursday and Friday that we have got before the Saturday game.
Qu: It's a big game coming up at Huish Park and the pressure will be on for that one.
ST: Yes, they are all big games though. This game gets three points just as much as the Bristol City game gets three points. If you lose a game like this though, the next game becomes all the more important.
Qu: It's the perfect game to go into now, particularly with it being a local derby.
ST: Yes if you want any motivation then you can't get much more motivation than Bristol City at home. It's a local derby and there is all the stuff with Gary coming back as well, so it is a massive game. But they are all massive, they are all three points and tonight was no different.
Qu: Finally Steve a word for the fans. It's a long way to come on a freezing cold night and they have come in their numbers and the players made sure they appreciated it at the end.
ST: Yes, I think that is important. I should have gone over there. I was so shell-shocked at the end, but I should have gone over because it is a long way to come and we really appreciate the fans coming that far. It was looking good at half time but unfortunately our second half left a lot to be desired. We have got to put things right in time for Saturday.
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