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Adkins: Poor defending

2 November 2013

Boss laments five conceded

Manager Nigel Adkins was left desperately disappointed by the defending that saw us concede five goals away to Sheffield Wednesday.

Before today's game, only four teams had a better defensive record away from home, but the Owls put five into Alex McCarthy's net on a day to forget.

Adkins said, "We gave poor goals away and that got their tails up. I think for all five goals we had possession of the ball, collectively, some of the individual errors in the goals, you can't expect to achieve anything conceding goals like that.

"There were a few questions asked of us today, particularly defensively in the second half, but we've come up short of them, it's a heavy defeat and hard to take. I've learned a lot from the goals that went in and individuals losing duels."

The Royals put in a real Jekyll & Hyde performance, we played some good stuff going forward but were left exceptionally open at the other end. Indeed, the first question in Nigel's press conference asked how we lost a game that in the journalist's eyes we looked like winning for long periods.

The boss commented, "I'm glad you've said that, because when we've lost 5-2 it's hard for me to say it. I thought we started well and in the first 20 we were going to do something. Then we gave it away and they scored. Then we did OK again, gave it away again and they scored again, Antonio's got too much freedom on the run and scores from distance.

"We got one back from Pavel - who was outstanding and worked really hard - then we gave it away again, and they scored again from a ricochet. 

"So at half time we're 3-1 and still thinking we can win the game, if we could keep a clean sheet and nullify the stupid mistakes we'd made. We should have had a penalty, we had a couple of chances, Hal from Gunter's great cutback. That would have made a difference but the result is everything. The second half deservedly belonged to Sheffield Wednesday.

"I'm sure people will be saying, 'hang on Nigel you got beat 5-2' when I say the first half performance was alright. It's about goals, goals change games and they've got a thumping victory. We know we must do better and we start again on Monday morning.

"It was not to be our day but you learn a lot about each other's character in a second half like that, a challenging period, they deservedly went on from there."

Asked if the first two goals in particular disappointed him, he said, "No, it was all five. There were poor goals, shocking goals, but I won't highlight individuals in the press. We'll talk about it in the dressing room and I've already spoken in there.

"Listen, a 5-2 scoreline is not good for anyone and I'm not hiding behind anything. It's unfortunate for the supporters who travelled up, there weren't many of our fans here but we appreciate all of them."

The boss explained his decision to take Danny Guthrie off, saying, "I took Danny off at 5-1 which is a hard one because I've got one eye on next week. He's very influential but is on four bookings so I want to make sure he's available for Queens Park Rangers. You could see someone getting riled at that scoreline and getting a yellow card."

Lastly, asked if he would move on quickly from the result, he said, "We won't be brushing today under the carpet, there are things there to be addressed and that starts Monday. We'll regroup and be ready for the next game. We'll analyse it properly which is the best way forward, sometimes you can say things in the heat of the moment which are wrong. 

"Sheff Wed have got good players and an excellent manager, as I highlighted before the game, and well done to them.

"I can look back on the performance, it's all ifs buts and maybes, but at the end of the day we got trounced 5-2."

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