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We have to be better in front of goal

2 September 2012

Peter Shirtliff on the Notts County game, David Healy, Andy Bishop and looking ahead to Preston

“To a certain extent you can say that football can be cruel at times.  We’ve shot ourselves in the foot by conceding a goal in the first minute and then again in the last minute.  In between that, I thought we did pretty good.  We can’t miss that many chances to win a football match; it’s a recipe for disaster to concede an early goal from a set piece and then schoolboy stuff at the end when they get another one, which obviously flatters them with the result.

That’s football, you have to stick the ball in the net and if we had done that with any authority we would have certainly got something out of the game.  We had some great chances; they were chasing shadows at times.  We created some great situations that fizzled out when their keeper should have been under a lot more stress.  We’ve missed the target, he didn't have to save things, easy saves and it was powder puff finishing for me.

If you take the goals away, the performance was very good.  There were a lot of good things, but at the end of the day – you have to stick the ball in the back of the net to win games – we haven’t done that.  To be fair, we could have been playing well till midnight and not scored.

It was one of those days where instead of heading it, it was coming off shoulders.  Everything was straight at the keeper.  It was one of those disappointing days where we should have done better in front of goal.

Numerous players have missed chances, but we will get on with it and do some work.  We will try and improve situations.  We have to improve defending that sort of set piece.  On reflection it’s disappointing because we have lost, but a lot of good things will come from this so we will just have to move on.

With hindsight it’s easy to say we’ve missed somebody like David Healy.  It would have been nice on Saturday to have somebody on the pitch with his goal scoring record.  His contribution would have been very good.  We’ve got what we’ve got and we had to field that side.  It’s not a lack of effort; it’s a lack of quality and a little bit of a lack of composure in the final third.

David Healy has a bit of a thigh strain so it was better for us to rest him but we are hopeful that he will be back for next weekend.

Andy Bishop came to see me last week and told me that his confidence has been shot at.  He asked to get away and get a change of scenery and hopefully that will spark me back into form if I score a few goals.  Let’s be honest about it, he hasn’t scored since Boxing Day.  So I thought it would be a good opportunity for him to go to a lower level, get some goals, get some confidence and it will be a good move for both parties.

It’s a bit of bad luck with David getting the injury but we will just have to rise above it and move onto the next game.  Andy’s parting words were that he will refresh himself, get my confidence back, come back as my old self and be a threat for Bury. 

You can’t say more than that, but we will monitor him at Wrexham and I will be going to see how he is doing.  I know people will read into these things with both Harrad and Bishop on high wages, but neither of these moves is a financial thing at all.

We’ve got or had five strikers.  Craig Jones can play up front, Marcus Marshall can play up front so we are covered – we just need to improve the quality of our play in the final third – it’s as simple as that.

Now it’s back on the training ground to work on it.  It’s only those boys out there who can put it right and they will keep believing.  It’s no good sulking about it and we will get on with it.  The fans were great and I think they appreciated the fact that we were trying to play, trying to move the ball and to create situations – and let’s be honest, we have created a lot of situations – we have to be better at sticking the ball in the net.”

Watch the full video interview with Peter Shirtliff on Shakers Player







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