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Interviews

Johnnie: No one’s merited keeping the shirt

Reaction to today’s loss

24 February 2024

Interviews

Johnnie: No one’s merited keeping the shirt

Reaction to today’s loss

24 February 2024

Johnnie Jackson pulled no punches in his assessment of our 1-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers, vowing to make changes if it means we see an upturn in results.

A victory at the Eco-Power Stadium would’ve seen the Dons keep pace with the play-off places, however today’s loss sees us drop to four points behind seventh place – a setback but certainly one that’s not decisive.

Once again an early goal was the difference today but it was the performance levels which cost us as we failed to dig deep and find energy from within to react to going behind.

Here Johnnie vents his frustrations, explains his selection decisions and sends a message to our supporters ahead of next Saturday.

ON THE PERFORMANCE…

They were better than us on the day. Too many of our lads performed below the levels and the standards that we’ve set ourselves. Doncaster deserved their win, I can’t dress it up any other way.

This defeat is different from the one in the week. We played well for large periods of that game and created some chances that we didn’t take. Today’s game, we were second best and the lads know that. We’ve had moments when we’ve looked like a really good team this season but we’re falling short.

ON THE SUBSTIUTIONS…

We felt that Josh Neufville’s pace up top would cause them problems. We didn’t test them enough with clever passes or stretch balls to get him into a race with their centre-backs, we didn’t give him the service he needed. We then brought JK (John-Kymani Gordon) on to give us some more energy out wide, we wanted him to impact the game.

We ended the game pushing, we had a couple of moments but our quality let us down. We had chances to get shots off or crosses but our decision making was poor in those moments.

ON THE PLAYERS WHO MISSED OUT…

PK (Paul Kalambayi) is ill, so he wasn’t available. Those boys (Huseyin Biler, Ryan McLean and Aron Sasu) travelled with us because I want them close to the group. They’re knocking on the door, I can only pick 18 but if people in it aren’t making an impact, we’ll look at other ways.

Those lads who aren’t involved need to train hard and give me something to think about. Everyone’s had opportunities this season. When you get the shirt, you’ve got to keep it and after today I have the opportunity to make changes because I don’t think anyone has merited keeping the shirt.

ON SATURDAY’S GAME…

We have to keep working hard on the training pitch. I know that wasn’t good enough today and the supporters rightly showed their frustrations. I have no issue with it at all. The reality is we’re in an okay position but if we had won today we’d be right on the tails of the top seven. We have to remember the situation we’re in, it’s not all doom and gloom.

We have a week to get things right. We have big decisions to make this week. There’s a big game coming up that we have to be bang up for. We’ll be doing everything we can to attack that game next week and to give the supporters a team that they can get behind. We need to give something to get behind and they’ll do the rest.

PICS: Simon Davies (Pro Sports Images)


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