Macca: 'We fought back and given ourselves another chance'

Macca: 'We fought back and given ourselves another chance'

Sunday Sep 17, 2017

Reds Boss John McDermott gives his verdict after yesterday's 2-2 draw with AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round and looks ahead to the Replay on Tuesday night.

The Reds fought from 2-0 down after a lacklustre first half performance and a suprisingly fragile defensive display. Brody Robertson pulling a goal back before the break, Billy Priestley then salvaging the tie with an 83rd minute equaliser. 

Macca spoke to Amar:

"It was a tough game yesterday, I can't knock the lads in terms of their determination, they kept going. But it was a typical cup tie and I've been in teams where you've taken big scalps and we said to the lads don't let it be a banana skin."

"The first goal it's poor defending from us and we were fortunate they didn't score one earlier on and the second goal, again, is down to individual poor defending. I don't think they did amazingly well to create those chances but credit to them because they took them. They were a good side and in the FA Cup you're always going to get a right battle."

"Their front four were very lively, very hungry and made it very difficult for us. Brody had a good game, he was decent, tidy and got his goal to get us back in the game. From that moment I thought we would go on to win it but if you don't work hard enough and it appeared that there was a few off the pace; whether Tuesday took it out of them, but if were going to carry a few, we're going to struggle."

Macca felt the team didn't perform to the standard of the past few weeks but credited the opposition:

"I can't moan at the lads for the last 20 minutes of the second half, we've pinned them in and got balls into the box, but we didn't really get it wide and our full backs didn't get round the back of them. We have got to give them credit, they've worked their socks off, the two wide men tracked back and they were organised." 

"Billy Priestley looked the player with the most threat for us towards the end and he had ligament damage, he looked more likely to score than the forwards. Our forwards need to do more, our wide men need to look at themselves and think if they created enough, it's a knock on effect."

"We are very fortunate to still be in the hat but I cannot knock the lads character, a lot of teams would have gone out 2-0 down, we've fought back and given ourselves another chance." 

On the Reds work rate:

"I was disappointed, especially in the first half, we carried too many. We left ourselves wide open, we need to move it quicker, need to distribute quicker in central areas. We were too narrow, we didn't have any width. When we did get it wide, we couldn't get past the first man."

"The game was flat first 20 minutes of the second half, I brought Westy and Ricky on which gave us something more up front, Brendon's had a chance, poked it wide; Ricky's close to connecting with another one and if that falls for you on another day that goes in. But I've never known a team that's worked steady, that's ever gone through or won a game on ability alone." 

Alfreton head to Rushden on Tuesday night for the Replay and Macca recognised the difficulty of the task:

"We have got a very difficult game Tuesday but we are still in the hat but the job is far from done. We'll dust ourselves off, It's a game we didn't really want, we have a tough game at Spennymoor on Saturday but there will be teams that have gone out, that's the beauty of the FA Cup."

"On Tuesday we need to make sure we are on it and give them a game, they will think that the job is done and they can get us back to their place but we need to show more, the lads did brilliantly well to come back but we need to be professional and have a better cutting edge. We need to lift our performance and aim to get into the next round."

Rushden & Diamonds v Alfreton kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday night. 

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