Peter Shirtliff on the 2-2 draw at the Ricoh Arena
“We should have had three points, though I am disappointed with the first half. We couldn’t get a foot hold in the game. We had the possession but were just running around after the ball. We couldn’t get to grips with it so we changed things around slightly at half time. They came out for the second half and I told the players to get on the front foot and take the game to them, because we had to get back into the game and start to get closer to people.
To be fair to the lads, they had responded to that fantastically. I didn’t send them out early, they wanted to come out early. It took me five minutes to sort it out and then they were ready. They wanted to retrieve the situation.
They wanted to retrieve the situation that they had put themselves in. The first goal came from when we had possession. It’s a fantastic shot for the goal, a great strike from 30 to 35 yards right into the side of the net. We had good possession until that. Sometimes you want to play and sometimes things like that go against you.
I was disappointed with the second goal, I’m not sure it went through the wall or under the wall or around the wall. Though saying that, I’m not even sure it was a free kick in the first place. 2-0 at half time and I think they had one other shot at Trevor Carson. I was thinking that this was ridiculous and that we had to get a foothold in the game somehow so I slightly changed it.
For the free kick, when the ball is that close to the 18 yard box, it is difficult for them to get the ball up and over the wall, so I think the players in the wall should just stand their ground. I don’t know what happened, but I will look at the DVD, that is something we may have to work on.
The second half was fantastic, we took the game to them and we’ve had some really good chances to get more than two goals. I’m disappointed we haven’t got more than two goals. If we had nicked a third goal, then we could have gone on and maybe even nicked a fourth goal. We were playing really well and the lads had got their tails up. They looked like they were enjoying it; they didn’t enjoy the first half that’s for sure.
There was only one man taking that penalty, but David Healy did well. He’s not quite match fit yet but he will come on from that game and he will get another weeks training next week. He will train hard this week and we will get some work into him.
The plan was to get to half time with him, then see where we are, but then with the changes we made, I thought he might have the chance to get in on goal. It didn’t quite happen, but Mark Cullen got in a couple of times, and then when Lenny came on, he got in a couple of times. I’ve used 14 players and every one of them has contributed towards getting a point at this fantastic stadium in our league.
The second was a great cross from Joe Skarz and a great header from Lenny, but good football leading upto it. There are a lot of positives to take from this game, the lads will take great belief and confidence from the game. Now we have two home games coming up, and we know that all games are tough in this league, but if they get that belief and a bit of confidence after having played three tough games to start our season, then hopefully they can kick on a bit.
Three lads have come off the bench and have contributed, its brilliant and that’s the sort of thing that they have to do. They are all really pleased with their efforts in the second half, but whilst they are pleased with that, we have to do something about being 2-0 down in the first place.
We can only play what’s in front of us and I know their crowd were having a bit of a moan, but that’s not our problem.”
Watch the full video interview with Peter Shirtliff over on Shakers Player