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After The Ball Was Over!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 13/02/2005

ANOTHER loss at home leaves Town fans joining manager Russell Slade in believing that the play offs are just a dream. Mind you, some also believe that his management is a nightmare and that relegation is more likely or even a certainty.

One thing for sure. This result is not a good fundraising motivator. No point in calling for more to attend games. We might instead have to stop the leakage and there is only one way to do that. The question is; Can Slade do it?

Naturally, Shrewsbury Town manager Gary Peters was on a high during his post match interview.

"It's always important to win games but to win games away from home when you're down the bottom is very important.

They had some dangerous players with the two lads up front and with Pinault in the midfield they will always cause you problems, so we changed our strategy slightly to try and stop the ball getting into the front two. We put Jake Sedgemore in front of their front two to try and stop the ball getting into their front two and protect our centre backs.

It was important to get the goal and it was a nice finish from Jake to get us the lead. He's hit the ball against the wind and surprised a little at the amount of force he got behind the ball.

It was good to come in at the break in the lead but we weren't getting carried away, we had a few cross words with the lads to make sure they didn't take their foot off the peddle as we knew that second half they'd come at us.

I was pleased to hear the final whistle as I didn't really enjoy much of the second half, the lads defended well but I would have liked to have seen them doing the defending further up the pitch.

Darren Moss got caught high up his thigh and has got a lot of bruising coming out already, it's a dead leg and is very sore but hopefully there is no real damage and hopefully he'll be ok soon.

It's very important that we don't get complacent and keep looking ahead and making sure we stay level headed. This week has been very good with a home win, an away draw and an away win and if you'd looked at those games before playing them I doubt many people would have seen us pick those results up.

It's nice to go away from home like we've done today and cause the opposition problems; we said we're going to play like this so see what you can do about it.

The second half was one of the longest 45-minutes of my life, when your 1-0 up and hanging on like that it gets you going a bit.

We needed that away win to make the lads believe that they can do it and show them how much they've improved."

Slade said he was disappointed that his players didn't respond after going a goal down.

"They scored what looked like an excellent free kick which has given them the wind in their sails to push on, and something to hang onto.

That's probably my main disappointment today, that there wasn't a response to their goal. The response didn't come until the second half.

I thought we started the game well enough. I think that was their first effort and it's gone in. I think that probably made us lose a little bit of belief.

Asked if the play-offs are now out of his sides reach, he said: "It now makes it very difficult."

Speaking of Graham Hockless performance he said:

"In places it was okay. He linked up well with the front and took a couple of good set-plays - particularly the free-kick in the first half.

"By and large, he uses it quite well. When it becomes a bit of a physical battle then sometimes he misses out." END

(That sounds like Hockless has had his chance and will not be back)

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