O’Neill furious over lacklustre Reds display
Wednesday Feb 22, 2017
Reds Boss Russ O’Neill was left bemused and frustrated after Alfreton succumbed to a heavy 5-0 defeat at Curzon Ashton on Saturday. With a crucial three points at stake in the fight for survival in the National League North, the Reds produced little fight as Curzon dominated the contest.
Speaking to Press Officer Amar Sharma, Russ said: “It was nowhere near the performance that we wanted on Saturday, looking back at it; it’s back to where we were a month ago. The goals we conceded were poor and embarrassing; obviously we had a lot of stoppages in the first half with four substitutions and the loss of Terry Kennedy did shake the lads.”
“We knew what Curzon would do, they would pick the ball up, be strong in possession, shift the play and make it hard for us to regain the ball and we didn’t look up for it which is what angered me the most. We didn’t stop them playing and the team we have we shouldn’t have let in five in the manner in which we did.”
The 5-0 loss was the first for Russ as Reds boss but emphasis on the reaction was important:
“Obviously it’s hard to get beat, we don’t want to lose to anyone, so it was tough for me but I’m looking at our performance and whether we gave them a game in the defeat and we didn’t. We let them affect us and apart from Clayts hitting the post first half and Shelts curling one which was saved in the second half, we didn’t threaten like we have done in recent weeks.”
"I want to apologise to our magnificent fans who made the trip, it was hard for them to watch and for all of us. So we apologise for the display and for letting our fans down on Saturday."
“I think in these tough moments it’s how we react to it, this Saturday is another tough game and we need to show that last week was a one off, a 5-0 loss is ridiculous for us to suffer with this team and it’s about our reaction now and how we put right our wrongs.”
Alfreton head to fourth placed and promotion chasing Chorley on Saturday and another tough encounter is expected however Russ stressed some possible new signings:
“It will be a much more physical contest and we need to be prepared and set up for it. The lads confidence has been high in recent weeks and we had a right spanking on Saturday which has knocked us back a little, so we need to head there and be confident, play our football and create chances.”
“I’ve gone with the players we have had since Nicky left and I’ve looked at things and I do think we need one or two fresh faces, it’s a crucial part of the season, we are in a battle that we shouldn’t be in, but it’s a battle we want to get out of and a few new signings could help us avoid trouble. We move onto Saturday and we’ll see what we can do.”