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Neal: we need to come up with solutions

Manager's post-match interview

10 February 2018

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Neal Ardley said that the management and squad must come up with solutions quickly after a third successive defeat against Northampton.

Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Neal said: "We did not do the basics well enough today and they won too many battles. Our defending has been poor, for a team that did not concede a league goal during January. All of a sudden, we have conceded poor goals. I have not shouted and hollered at them. We had a long chat in there. I opened up the floor, I wanted the boys to talk. We need to come up with some solutions and we need to do it fast because we did not perform well enough today.

"It has been a terrible week. My thoughts are that the best team won. We did not do enough. They came with a plan. It was not a penalty (for the first goal), but that cannot excuse what happened for the rest of the game. At half-time we tweaked things a bit to try and get that urgency and tempo into the game. I thought we did that for 10 minutes and then you are thinking, 'we've made a good call there, everything is great', but then you cannot defend the way we defended after that. The togetherness and team spirit need to be better than ever because this week has not been good enough."

Neal added that he had seen the penalty incident back for Northampton's first goal and it definitely should not have been given.

"It was not a penalty, I've seen it back," said Neal. "The lads around him said he threw himself to the ground and that's exactly what happened. The referee could not wait to give it and it's not the first time with this referee, but I am not going to make that an excuse. My team did not give the supporters what we wanted to give them and what they deserve. We have 15 games left now and we have to put it right.

"It's a tough league. Northampton got nine players in with seven out, totally reshaping the squad. They've got some good players and a powerful squad. Everyone is fighting for their lives down there and you will see – as we did during that year in League 2 – that teams down the bottom will be in good form. We have to get ourselves back in good form. We had a good January and we've let ourselves down in February. It's been a poor week and we need to try and make sure that we pick some points up in the next two games. It's just about consistently chipping away at your points total, but we've had a really bad week."

The full post-match interview with Neal is available via the link to our iFollow channel above.

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