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AB: We were Outclassed

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 20/03/2000

Generous in defeat, Alan Buckley conceded his team were outclassed by play-off hopefuls Bolton in Saturday's 1-0 defeat. Although the scoreline does not reflect the gap between the two teams, Town were comfortably beaten in the gaffer's opinion.

A side brimful with quality players like Eidur Gudjohnsen and Claus Jensen achieved a 16th clean sheet this season without ever really finding their stride. And the divide between the clubs did not escape the Town boss. "They have got some real quality players, players like Jensen. He got on the ball and did not really have to push it too much. You have got to give them credit. "They are strong players and talented. I have had enough of them," he said, smiling. "I felt they were content to sit back and hit us on the break. I think a lot of what we are up against this season caught up with us. We had a lot of the possession in the first half, perhaps 75 per cent of it. "On two or three occasions they got to us. Our lads ought to have made more of their possession in the first half. We relied on Danny Coyne to keep us in it. He played excellent," he added. But he said he had few options to revitalise the team for the second half. "To kill the game off with 10 minutes to go in the second half, Bolton brought on Dean Holdsworth, who cost about £4m. I turned around to my bench and saw Danny Butterfield, Matt Bloomer and Adam (Buckley), all young lads. "That is the stature of the two clubs. And look at the players they had out there to start the game. To be fair to them they looked a class apart," the manager said. With the transfer deadline looming, he ruled out any last minute moves. "That does not matter to us. If we could get Lee Ashcroft and Bradley Allen fit that is like signing two players to me." Outstanding performances from Alan Pouton, Mark Lever and Coyne always gave the Mariners a fighting chance of drawing even. But the match was ultimately decided by a dubious decision from Uriah Rennie, who ignored a clear foul on Stacy Coldicott. From the resulting play Bergsson scored. Holding a bag of crushed ice for his bruised foot, Coldicott said: "I moved the ball around the corner to Mark Nicholls. One of the lads cut across and caught me. "I stayed down and after a bit the feeling came back to my ankle. Bolton crossed and scored. I think the referee though he was playing advantage. "But the ball was played out to Mark Nicholls about 35 yards out with his back to goal. There was not a lot he could do with it. I had a problem with the referee's decision," he said.

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