KIRKLEY FC: Poor displays let us down
ROYALS REVIEWIT has been a disappointing week for us. After grinding out results, rather than playing particularly well, we've produced a disappointing display in the league last Saturday and followed it up with a Suffolk Premier Cup semi final defeat on Wednesday.
IT has been a disappointing week for us. After grinding out results, rather than playing particularly well, we've produced a disappointing display in the league last Saturday and followed it up with a Suffolk Premier Cup semi final defeat on Wednesday.
Generally, Saturday was a poor performance where everyone did not perform to the levels they've reached this season.
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We did make a couple of positional changes in personnel in preparation for the Needham game and we should've been able to adapt to that like we have done all season.
But all credit to Mildenhall, they produced a very good performance and are on a good run of form as they had good shape and movement. The changes we made did not work and we conceded two poor goals.
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The message to the lads after the game was that we felt the performance was there for all to see in that we didn't hit the correct level we're associated with and we needed to do better in Wednesday's game. It was a chance to bounce back and show a bit of character as we looked to put this defeat behind us - but it didn't quite work out like that.
But we also have to have a bit of reality as to where we are - we certainly would've taken this position at the start of the season. To be fourth, in a final and having reached a semi final, well we'd have taken that as a club and Jon and I would definitely have taken that.
It was another poor first half performance on Wednesday against Needham Market. We were not at it, and we didn't compete in the first 45 minutes.
They made a good start to the game and we done well to hold them to 0-0 as they could've been out of sight at half time as Woody made three really good saves.
We had to change shape and switched to 4-5-1 after 25 minutes to contain them, and while we were better after that they made it 1-0 as they had been threatening to do.
At half time we told the boys they needed to get more competitive - we were in a semi final, one step away from Portman Road and we needed more tempo to our game, while doing the ugly things as well.
The second half was an improved performance, and while we did create opportunities we did not work their goalkeeper enough. We switched to 4-3-3 and they scored a second near the end after hitting the post twice in the second half.
At the end of the game we stressed the whole picture. We have not become a bad side in these two games. Every side has a run of bad form at certain points in the season and it is about how you get through this stage and push on from it, which is important.
It is easy for people to criticise after successive defeats, but we'll carry on and we'll be looking for a response tomorrow. You can look at the two results and over-analyse it - but we've not become a bad side overnight.
We'll take it collectively and put it right as the players have to take responsibility, and Jon and I have to do that as well. We've now got some decisions over the next 24 hours as to the make-up of the squad tomorrow.
Lewis Blois comes into contention with his availability, while Scott Martin picked up a calf injury and is extremely doubtful tomorrow - so that will give someone else an opportunity to come back in.
Apart from that we are pretty much full strength, and we have a free week after tomorrow's game, which will give everyone a chance to regroup and reflect a little.
We told the lads at the end of the game on Wednesday night that we didn't want to experience this sort of feeling again. It was the first time for some of them in a semi final and sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward.
You have to learn to lose and learn to win to get those feelings and while for now it isn't great, as a club we hope there will be more successful semi finals in the longer term.
Stewart Larter was speaking to Mark Boggis