Kevin Blackwell’s thoughts on the 2-2 draw at the Pirelli StadiumDespite conceding two late goals at Burton Albion on Saturday, manager Kevin Blackwell was happy to reveal his delight at the progress being made from his new side.
‘The first half was as good a performance that I have seen from any team at this level for a long time; we looked a real class outfit. We created plenty of good chances overall but we knew they would come out in the second half and throw the kitchen sink and everything at us. I think we could have dealt with balls into the box that little bit better, but other than that, I am really pleased with the boys.
We went 2-0 up and thoroughly deserved the lead, we should have gone on and finished the game and should have killed them off. We had three or four really good chances in the second half that would have been clinical, but William Edjenguele walked through the door on Thursday, Tommy Miller on Tuesday – we keep saying this, but we are rebuilding this team.
I’m happy with that and I have told the players that nobody else will be coming through the door now; we just have to try and build that understanding. Perhaps that lack of cohesiveness and understanding has let us down a little bit because they have not played together before. We are a strong unit and I am more than happy with what I have seen.
Anton Forrester took his goal superbly, that’s why we brought him in. The lad has got talent. I think as the game went on he got tired and his link up play wasn’t as good as it was in the first half, but again – the kid is only 19 years of age. The same with Jordan Sinnott – he’s only 19 years of age. Now they realise that Under 21 football does not prepare you for league football. This is tough, this is men’s stuff and I have to say, I am really pleased with how they are coping. They will develop physically and mentally as the season goes on.
Tommy Miller seemed to stroll through the game and he does have that little bit of ability to link the play up and keep the ball moving. That’s what I want to do, link the play up and keep the ball moving. With the greatest respect to Burton, I don’t want to see the ball coming over the top. When they get it back it comes back straight over the top. There is no thought about linking the play or dressing it up. It’s exactly what it is - it’s what it says on the tin.
It was good to see William (Edjenguele) get his goal as well. We only had the chance to work on set plays for an hour or so on Friday before we left. These are two players, through the middle of the team that only turned up this week. They will learn more about the set plays but they settled quite well into the side.
Set plays were the only way that Burton caused us problems. Their aim was to get the ball into the box; they don’t care how they get it in there and hope that they can be physical and strong to pick up the second ball. At 2-0 up and coasting that’s how they got it in - they humped it up there on the break away. Tommy tried to clear it and it was intercepted and they got the goal, that’s what’s disappointing, but I want the lads to play as much football as they can.
Against a Burton side that has started the season so well and they have had one of their best starts ever. They went to Fleetwood and destroyed them in the first half, and we did exactly that to them in the first half on Saturday. Any neutral at this game would have looked at our side and said that we are more than useful. I think we are capable of doing something.’
Watch the full video interview on Shakers Player or
watch a clip from the gaffer on YouTube