Kevin Blackwell on recent results, the season and two vital home games
“Last weekend at Portsmouth we saw a very good first half performance again. Jerry Francis was at the game and he told me that we should have been two or three up at half time, but then from a great position and attacking the ball near their box, we concede a goal within thirty seconds. Its individual errors that are costing us yet the stats show that we had more shots on target, more corners. Guy Whittingham told me after the game that he had to go in there at half time and rip their heads off, because there was only one team in the game.
We keep dissecting the season; we’ve been fighting and trying to catch up all season. The shame is that the players really put a performance in, they were top class but then it slides away. That’s the difference between a top team and a bottom team; we don’t seem to be able to put together consistent performances.
We know they can perform at this level, but not consistently enough. It’s been difficult because since December, we’ve not been able to get anyone in. Portsmouth are able to bring players into their squad, yet we can’t. I just don’t see the fairness of that. We can’t freshen it up, we can’t bring anyone in.
One of the major tools of any manager is to be able to wheel and deal with players. If you take that tool away then it becomes very difficult. We’ve got Colchester on Saturday, they have brought a couple of players in to freshen it up - We can’t do that. We’ve not been able to do that for a long time. This hasn’t been a level playing field for this football club this year.
This has never been an ideal scenario for the club and I am dealing with problems left right and centre, but sometimes that happens at a club. We are going through that spell at the moment. The directors and I have recognised that the club has to re-invent itself to a degree. We know certain things are not right and the board have been smart enough to recognise that. It may be a little bit late for all of us, but we do know where we are going.
We still have the chance to stay in this league, but it does make it hard when you lose games like we did at Portsmouth and Notts County. There’s only one game this season that I was really disappointed with – Crawley at home, because we were abysmal, and on the back of an outstanding performance at Swindon. Other than that, we are always in games and if it hadn’t have been individual errors we’d be better off. We’ve missed chances, and if we had somebody like Connolly last weekend, they would be in the back of the net.
We’ve known that the two keys areas are areas that we need to spend money on, and if we haven’t got that, it makes it difficult. It’s a difficult situation that we are in and I understand the frustration of the fans, but there can be no one greater frustrated than myself.
Had we have come away from Portsmouth with a win, then it would have been five points from safety – but that’s football. Somebody has to win, somebody has to lose. There is only one winner in this division, so if somebody wins the championship, the other 23 do not win. There is only one winner in every competition, so there has to be a lot of losers. It’s about how you lose and I wasn’t happy with how we lost against Crawley, I haven’t seen that before, but even at Portsmouth, we should have won the game.
This set of players has always bounced back, and that’s what has really impressed me about their spirit. We have to keep showing that season until the end of the season. They have to stick together and work together; hopefully we will get out of this together.
Now we have two home games, obviously we need six points. Other than the long term injuries, everyone is fit and raring to go.
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