The managers reaction to an opening day defeat at Wrexham.
A frustrated Ian Evatt said there were plenty of positives to take from our trip to Wrexham, despite defeat in North Wales.
Despite having the lead at half time after a strong first half performance, an early second half goal for the home side changed the game and the manager believes his side played fairly well despite the defeat.
“I’m very frustrated, but I think it’s a measure of how far we have come in a short space of time that we are absolutely gutted to have lost that game against Wrexham who are one of the favorites to be promoted.
We should have been three up at half time, we’ve missed two gilt-edged chances that you just can’t account for being missed. We needed to be a bit better on the ball in the second half, but the first half was a pretty much perfect away performance bar the goals really.
I don’t think anyone that came to the game today or listened in can be too disappointed. Yes we’re gutted we got beat, but we have for played really well for large spells and should have been winning comfortably, especially at half time. We need to make sure that we get a good performance on Tuesday and a win.”
The Gaffer spoke of his frustration with the manner in which his side conceded at the Racecourse, with the timing of the first Wrexham goal changing the game.
“We spoke at length before the game about their danger from crosses and set pieces and they’ve scored from a cross and a set piece.
We understand that we will come away from home and be under pressure but two minutes into the second half we give away a sloppy foul which gives them a chance to get a set piece in, then we don’t defend the set piece and then the whole atmosphere in the ground changes.
When you give them a leg up that early on in the half their mentality changes, the crowds mentality changes and then it’s really backs to the wall. We’ve got to be a bit cuter, we were a bit naive but there were some really positive signs, especially first half.”
The Bluebirds missed two fantastic chances in the first half and Evatt underlined the fact that when the chances come, you have to take them.
“You’ve got to give the opposition credit, we’re away from home and they (Wrexham) are going to have spells. But we need to learn from our mistakes and understand that when you give a team at home a goal two minutes after half time that it gives them a massive leg up and it’s a relief for everybody, we have to be smarter at the start of both halves away from home.
Then, when we get those chances, we have to take them. It’s all well and good standing here moaning about the defenders and who should be marking who, but you also have to look to your strikers and say you should be scoring, especially when we have those chances.
They’re delighted to beat us, so that’s a huge positive for us, that we are Barrow, first half we’ve given a really good account of ourselves and then second half we have huffed and we’ve puffed. I thought we looked really dangerous from set pieces but then we’ve conceded a sloppy set piece and a goal from a cross. That’s the expectation now, our expectations have changed and we are now a scalp believe it or not. We’ve got two games now to recover from today and get a win at home.”
The manager revealed he is still on the hunt for an additional defender to join his squad, but insisted he won’t be rushed into signing one up for the sake of it.
“We need one no doubt, but one thing I’m not going to do is be forced into signing one I don’t really want and need, we can’t be desperate. We have to be measured and cute with our recruitment, it’s back to the drawing board, we’re looking around and we will see what is available.”
With the games coming thick and fast at the start of the season, Evatt has plenty of options in his squad and he challenged his players to continue to prove they were worth a place in his starting eleven.
“There is competition for places, I’ve just said that in the changing room, you’ve got to respect your place in the team because there are lads waiting to step in. It is what it is, we’ll see how things are and then go again on Tuesday.”
The Bluebirds return to action as we play our first home game of the 2019/20 on Tuesday night. Harrogate Town are the visitors for a 7:45pm kick off at the Progression Solicitors Stadium.