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Neal’s post-match reaction at Blackpool

Interview with our manager after today’s defeat

20 October 2018

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

Neal Ardley expressed his disappointment with his side's defending from set pieces after Blackpool today struck their first goal from a corner.

Speaking in his post-match interview for iFollow, Neal said: "I thought for most of the game the boys gave everything I asked of them. They were energetic, worked incredibly hard and got into some great positions, but as I always say and at a risk of repeating myself, the game is about the boxes. We have conceded now for the third game running from a set piece: at Plymouth, against Portsmouth, and now today. We did video analysis on that exact set-piece and several others to make sure that we were aware of how to deal with it, but eight minutes in you are away from home and chasing the game. For the next 80 minutes or so they gave everything they could and created some really good moments, but we did not have the composure or the keeper made good saves. The performance levels, by and large, were okay, but we did not do the boxes well enough.

"I don't doubt for a minute that the players are giving me everything. They were devastated in that room afterwards. They do care, but they are just not doing the boxes well enough. Defending from set pieces has cost us in the last three games and when confidence is low getting that win seems 10 times harder. That's where we are at the moment.

"Half the problem is in our own box. You don't lose at Plymouth or against Portsmouth if you defend set pieces. We set them up, we run through set pieces, do video analysis, we work on their threats and try to put the right players on their players, but at the moment we are not taking responsibility. It's something that provides a good platform for the forwards to go and do their stuff. I don't doubt our ability to match most teams between the boxes, but at the moment I doubt our ability to keep clean sheets and not give away silly goals."

Neal made four changes to his starting line-up for today's game and he explained the reasons for this afterwards.

"I made changes because I felt that certain people, after reviewing the performances, deserved to come in, and certain people deserved to go out. If that gives people a kick up the backside, that's great. If the others come in and do well, great. We are a match for most teams, but in the boxes we are killing ourselves.

"We have to go to Bristol Rovers and play with energy, run hard, we cannnot have any other approach. We just have to do our boxes better, something we haven't done in the last three games."

The full interview with Neal is available to watch on our iFollow channel by clicking on the link above.

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