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Clarke: We deserved to lose

17 February 2015

Boss angry after 1-0 defeat

Steve Clarke pulled no punches in his assessment of Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat to Wigan, lamenting a 'terrible' result at Madejski Stadium.

A scrappy first half goal from Jason Pearce proved enough to give the Latics all three points, and the boss was hugely disappointed to lose a second home game in eight days.

Speaking brutally honestly to the press, Clarke said, "We deserved to lose. It [the game] was rubbish.

"A little bit of me is embarrassed to be coach of a team that plays like that, especially first half. Not a good game, not a good performance and obviously a terrible result.

"We didn't turn up for the first half, we allowed Wigan to get in front and the second half was a consequence of the first half performance, not acceptable."

The boss will not rest in a bid to pick up more points, especially at home, saying, "It's something I've got to look long and hard at, I need to find a different way to play at home. Maybe I need to change the team a little bit.

"When you see us play away, by and large the performances have been good but here, the performances are of a team that's going to fight relegation. We've got two away games before Forest here so it gives me time to try to find a solution.

"The players ran around, they put everything into the game but they didn't put any quality in the game. Look at the quality of the last two home games, not just from us but the overall quality.

"Home performances and away performances don't relate to each other. It's very frustrating. We look to the pitch a little bit, it doesn't help us, to be fair to the club they didn't spend anything on it in the summer because of the financial situation at the time. And they need the rugby revenue so it's Catch 22. But we have to find a way to counter-act it and maybe I need to find a different approach at home. It's my responsibility."

Michael Hector missed the game, and the boss explained, "Michael picked up an injury at the weekend but Nathaniel came in at centre back and defended well. That wasn't the problem tonight."

And the boss was keen to defend Adam Federici, saying, "Firstly, you can blame the backpass to him on a pitch like that. It's shouldn't have been played to him. Adam got caught, then a decent delivery in and we didn't deal with it. It was a soft set play goal but Adam's been fantastic so he's not getting any criticism from me."

Lastly, he refuted any notion that the FA Cup played a part in the performance. "No, no, no, no. I didn't see or feel that at all. The players understand we're seven points above the bottom three and perilously close.
 
"Four league games before Bradford. At the moment, I've zero interest in the FA Cup."

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