Did you rather throw that one away?
Yes, we were in total control until we scored the goal, but we then came away from what we do. In the second half we didn’t pass the ball once, the back three looked like they hadn’t played together and we told them at half-time there were too many spaces in the first half. We didn’t take responsibility to take the ball, we went too long and defensively, I am not quite sure what Clem (Chris Clements) was thinking with the penalty and then we compounded it by conceding a second. The last two times we have played here, we have conceded some awful goals.
Are you angry?
Frustrated more than anything. We have told the players we have to defend better than that, no matter who we are playing. They couldn’t get near us for half an hour. Then they pulled (Ben) Pringle in because Finn (Azaz) kept getting in behind so we had to break the front two with the back three, which we didn’t do. I can’t really put my finger on that, but it’s frustration because although we weren’t playing particularly well, I thought we could see it out, but Clem has had a rush of blood to the head because it was a nothing sort of incident and the ball was miles in the air and I can’t find words for it.
You had a terrific chance to go 2-1 up through Reuben Reid
Yes, we have missed some good chances, which again adds to the frustration. We were very good for half an hour, we came away from it completely so we’ll have to watch it back and find out what the key was. Good chances missed and sloppy goals conceded is not a great mix.
Have you got any immediate answers from the players about why they came away from it?
No, not really. Now is not the time to talk to them. You talk to them on Monday and you get some clear answers. It’s frustration because in the last couple of weeks we’ve looked really good defensively and then we concede poor goals.
What will it mean in terms of your thinking for Tuesday night at Millwall in the Carabao Cup?
Nothing. We’ll see who’s fit and pick a team that we think can hopefully go and compete. The result doesn’t affect Tuesday’s game at all.
Last year you only lost six games in the regular season, so it must be a bit of a blow to start off with a defeat like this?
It’s always a blow to get beaten, but we started last year with a defeat as well. Morecambe are a better team than they have been, but I think we showed enough in the first half an hour to think we could have put the game to bed to be honest.
Do you think you’ll have everybody available for Tuesday and will Lewis Freestone be fit
We hope so. He has a cut on his foot and it might be slightly infected, but hopefully it’ll be all right. He was worse on Friday than it was on Thursday. He’s the only one and there is nothing to report today that I know of.
Football is back. Is this just the life of a manager now and you say ‘here we go again’?
Yes, there is frustration and it’ll be whizzing around in your head now and what was the key moment that invited them on. As soon as you invite any team on in football or it doesn’t matter what you do, football or in life, if you encourage someone they are going to take it and they did. It wasn’t even encouragement at the end, we literally gifted them two goals.
Liam McAlinden had a couple of chances and you were trying to get information across to the back three. What didn’t they do today?
They weren’t filling space. We told them at half-time, that’s another frustrating thing and we keep using the same word. We told them the spaces were too big between the three. The positions they were in were what we expect when we have the ball, not when the opposition have the ball. It’s like they’ve never played together and it’s a strange thing because they have been so good. They’ve had plenty of plaudits and they need to take this one on the chin.
You know Liam McAlinden from him being here when you took over. He did well when he came on didn’t he?
He ran in behind, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that when he’s run in behind twice he is going to keep running in behind, so go and fill the spaces and they just whack it to you. We were too deep and couldn’t win a header from goal kicks. I’ll put it down as an off day. Give him credit as he did well, but it was definitely an off day for the back three.
You lost on the opening day, but the response then was very good, winning the next game 4-1
We have to put last season to bed now. I know I’ve referenced it, but we have lost a game of football. We have to dust ourselves down and go to Millwall, which will be a tough game, obviously. Then we have to go away to Tranmere, which is tough because they are favourites and it’s a long way to go. We’ll be looking for a response, but that’s always the case. You want to get the first win and three points on the table as quickly as you can.