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Clark: It was just awful from start to finish

Manager Lee Clark sends his apologies to the Chairman and supporters following a below par performance at the Energy Check Stadium

20 August 2017

“The two late goals have papered over the cracks but there are a few positives. The performance of Joe Murphy, who kept the score line down. He was our best player on the pitch and the performance of young Tsun Dai – who was outstanding when he came on.

“He showed a bit of courage, he kept getting on the ball.  He didn’t worry if he gave the ball away because he would go and get the ball again, to make the pass.  It was a really good performance from him.  Also, my two strikers have got on the scoresheet.  That’s the positives out of the way.  The rest of it is unacceptable.
 
“Defensively we were all over the shop and if it wasn’t for Joe Murphy, we could have been on the end of a record defeat, it was just awful from start to finish.
 
“I apologise to the Chairman and the board of directors, and most importantly to the supporters.  They don’t deserve to watch that, they pay good money and for that, it was an unacceptable performance.
 
“We have just got to keep working in order to change it.  We will get them on the training ground and go again, doing the basics.  That’s what cost us on Saturday – basic football.  We’ve ended up having to change formations.  I’m not going to make excuses because it’s not possible.
 
“There is enough experience on the pitch, but for me, the warning signs were there in the first half, and we didn’t seem to heed those warnings.
 
“Chris Maguire has a tight thigh and I wasn’t prepared to risk him.  I’m not letting him smack a ball only for him to tear a thigh, then he will be out for five to six months.  I’ve got too many players out already with knee problems.  I would rather miss him now for ten days to get him completely right.
 
“We know Chris is short in terms of fitness because he only came to us ten days before the season started.  I am down to the bare bones in terms of numbers.  Andrew Tutte took a whack to his ankle in a behind closed doors game against Blackpool.
 
“I had Joe Skarz and the two young strikers (Sang & Heardman) training on Saturday morning.  I haven’t really got a lot to call on, and in an ideal world, I would have put Phil Edwards on – right back for right back, but he has only had two or three days with us after a serious knee injury.
 
“If we were in the position where we were winning the game, I could have put him on for the last ten.  I couldn’t put him on at half time, I would have been doing the lad an injustice, but he is in my thought because Craig Jones now has a groin issue.
 
“I’m very disappointed.  Anger doesn’t get you anywhere.  At the start of my managerial career, I would have been running around like a bear with a sore head.  It doesn’t get you anywhere.  I have to find a solution to the problem.  We have lots of problems at the moment, now it’s up to me, my staff and the players to find the solutions.
 
“We are still early in the season, but do not think for one minute that that was an acceptable performance in anyway shape or form.  There were a few positives that we can take from the game.”
 

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