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Final day reflections

PUBLISHED

18:56 19th May 2013

Manager's reaction to Upton Park defeat

Boss Nigel Adkins was pleased with his team's fightback at West Ham, but was left to rue what he described as poor goals conceded.

We came back from 2-0 down to get level at two apiece, but a couple of late Kevin Nolan goals gave West Ham all three points.

The boss commented, "I said to the players at half time, at 2-0 down you're facing a challenge because West Ham want to have a party. We gifted them the first goal, West Ham wanted a special occasion but we turned it around. Great credit to the players for the character we showed, yes we made a couple of changes but the players have got to go out there and do it. 

"We started the second half brightly and at that point we're in the ascendancy. Then in the last ten minutes West Ham got a third and then the fourth one is a poor one from our perspective."

Le Fondre and Blackman came on at half time to combine for our equaliser, and the boss was pleased with their contribution. "In my mind they were two good changes. Nick Blackman came on and did really well, so too Adam Le Fondre, he was lively and scored a great goal. We wanted to play further up the pitch and got hold of the ball a bit better.

"It's been clear that there's a progression in how we want to play, but it's about winning. From 2-0 we showed character, but it's about what you do in both boxes."

Alex McCarthy's clearance was closed down to give the Hammers the lead, and the boss had sympathy for his 23-year-old keeper. "It happens. It's about clearing the football. I want us to play out from the back but that particular one wasn't about playing from the back, it was there to be cleared and he hasn't executed it as well as he needed to. Like I say, it happens."

The boss brought in Kaspars Gorkks at centre back, explaining, "You look at the opposition and their aerial threat, plus set pieces, physical side of the game and Carroll in great form. He was unplayable at times. Adrian Mariappa has done fantastically for me, but I just thought that extra body who can do it in the air. It's a big ask for any centre half who is back in the England squad and a real handful."

Last but not least, the boss and squad went over to the away end to thank our fans, saying, "They gave us great support again. I was made aware of the prices they have to pay, plus of course the travel, it's not cheap. They had more to cheer in the second half, we scored a couple of goals and played some dominant football. It's only right we go over and applaud them, and they were clapping back for the second half efforts of the players."

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