GANNON AND STURROCK REACTION
Stags assistant boss rues missed chances
Stags assistant manager John Gannon felt the 3-1 defeat at Plymouth did not do Mansfield's performance justice.
"We had plenty of chances and should have put them away," he said.
"But if we can't then we leave with a 1-1. Losing 3-1 doesn't really paint the picture at all.
"We ended up giving away two soft goals.
"We had told the lads we needed to start games better but went behind to an own goal in less than two minutes.
"We then picked ourselves off the floor, recovered and looked the strongest team up to half time.
"We had three golden chances to seal the game at 1-1, one of them off the line and another hitting the bar.
"Going forward we looked good at times and caused them problems. But we had a bit of a soft centre which we have to shake out of our system quickly.
"One or two individual mistakes were certainly punished. These boys have to learn not to take risks. If there is any doubt they have to the sensible thing.
"We have two home games ahead of us now this week and we have to take full advantage of them."
Audio interview with John Gannon from Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed)
Sturrock delighted with points but not the display
"It's amazing, a couple of weeks ago we put in a good performance against QPR and came away with nothing, today we played poorly and came away with all three points! We'll take it, as I emphasised, we have had good games here and last this year and lost, we were out of sorts but at the end of the day we got the result.
"I thought in the second half we were much better than in the first. The key to the game was getting our goal so quick. We dropped a gear and found it very hard to lift it again.
"We experimented when we dropped Stevie into the back four and brought Bessie (Beresford) in on the right. We got through the game and we are delighted with the result.
Stevie looked rusty at the back, but we didn't work with him this week. I went with my head rather than my heart. I gave him a phone call at about four o'clock Friday and tol him to get a centre half's head on, he's been thinking midfield all week. I have gone with my heart several times this season and we have suffered, so I am pleased I went with my head today and we have come away with the result.
"We looked very out of sorts at the back in the whole of the first half; I thought Graham Coughlan had a magnificent second half. We looked much tighter, much better in the second half.
"I don't think the ball stuck to the front players, until the last half hour when Mickey and Stoney got a lot more ball and were able to create more. The wee boy Norris is having a problem at home, we keep giving him sides to run on and he doesn't look right. He wants to be more involved in the game, so that's food for thought.
"We have had a poor performance; it was the poorest we have played for quite a long time. That's football, it takes two to tango and they played very well in spells but come away with nothing. We should have done better, in the first half Friio was through, Mickey was through, Stoney was through and
we should have put the game beyond them. It meant we really had to get 100% for the whole 90 minutes.
"I was disappointed with Mickey in general; I do not think he was as influential as he normally is at home here. To be fair he was very close to getting replaced, Marino was ready, and then he goes and puts presence on
the goalie. The problem with Mickey is that I need that from him from the first whistle to the last whistle, I don't need it for 20 minutes here and half an hour there. It was not one of his best performances.
"Stoney could have come out with a hat-trick, I felt in the second half he held onto the ball too much, but he was exciting at times as well. He is just a young lad and we have to remember that.
"There is an apprehension in our game at home, due to the results we had earlier in the season. We could have done with Stevie in the back four and in the middle. I thought Jason was outstanding in the game, miles ahead than anyone else with his thoughtfulness and passing."
Latest | February 2003