The Manager Says!-Clarets 0-1 Stoke
Steve Cotterill is quoted as saying the following about the dreadful performance against Stoke City in the recent 0-1 defeat
'I thought we started the game a little rung-rusty and the tempo was too slow. When we play like that, we don't get any team on the back foot.
I have a theory on how many players get you a result. If eleven players play well on the day, you will get a comprehensive win.
If you have seven or eight you will get a win, four or five will probably get you a draw and if you have three or four, you will lose.
We only had three or four tonight and we didn't do enough to win the game, that's the cold, hard facts"
I am not sure the Clarets fans would agree with you there Steve, the defence was woeful, the midfield ineffective and the attack non-existent. The only player who could by any stretch of the imagination have been considered to have played well in my opinion was Mike Pollitt who saved the team from even more potential embarrassment. Not sure who the other 2 or 3 players would be that Steve has in mind but I would find it hard to give any of the other players more than 5 for effort. Many have said to me this was the worst game they have seen from the Clarets this season and although I have not been to all matches, it`s certainly the worst I have seen in the past two seasons. There was no passion or energy; nobody seemed to have a clue!
Steve goes on to say:
'We can skirt around it, but sometimes we played with too much patience and sometimes no patience at all.
What happens then is you get a few moans and groans and then you are frightened of accepting the ball. I just think we have to bully ourselves into accepting the ball at time.'
I thought (Ricardo) Fuller was excellent and he was the reason Stoke won.
Had we had an on-song Ade Akinbiyi, then maybe he would have been the difference. However, it looks as though he has spent 12 months away from here in a gymnasium and not running, so look what you can look forward to Ade!
Yes, we have players who need football. Ade, Joey (Gudjonsson) and Eric (Djemba-Djemba) all need more and they looked like it.
Arguably, if the season stopped tomorrow, Michael Duff would be our player of the year, but you wouldn't have thought it from the performance tonight.
He would have done all his preparation as always and I know the kid will be gutted like the rest of them.
We just had too many off colour and we looked as if we hadn't played for a while and all in all, Stoke deserved their win.'
I don`t think anybody could argue with those sentiments but it does raise the question of why so many played like that on the night. Djemba-Djemba might need to play more games but why couldn`t he repeat his impressive performance against Saints in his debut the other week. Ade also scored in that match and seemed to be involved more. The whole team was solid especially the defence.
It`s not as though either we have had too many games recently to explain any tiredness so was it just one of them nights or are we going to suffer for the rest of the season whilst the new boys settle into the side and achieve match fitness?
We have a play-offs place to try and aim for and we are stuck on 38 points in 13th place still 12 points off recognised safety. You only have to look at the terrible fixtures we have in the month of April against most of the top clubs to realise we can`t afford many more games like this one against Stoke.
Shake 'em up Steve !