Malcolm Dawson writes….Well it was either the Stadium of Light or Ironworks Road, Tow Law for me today. £25 v £2 a probable 0-0 draw or the certainty of goals. No contest in the end and here I am grabbing a quick cuppa just back from the match, about to set off for an evening of curry and naan bread in the company of M Salut, up for the game today and Lord Peter Sixsmith who as ever was in his place in the East Stand. I’ve seen worse 0-0 draws. The crowd was definitely behind the team and those who were disgruntled kept their counsel. The starting line up looked more solid defensively which allowed Johnson and Alvarez to hug the touchlines. It looked to me from the other end of the ground that Lescott should have seen red and Johnno’s goal didn’t look offside either. The ref was again poor all over the pitch and Defoe was hauled down near the end for what should have been a penalty, but I shall wait until after I’ve seen a recorded MOTD on my return from the Garden of India before I decide he was totally inept. Gus as ever was upbeat and probably relieved there were no boos as the team walked off. Here’s his customary post match missive to M Salut and a few others on his e-mail list.
It was a good response from the players; there was great desire and commitment, with lots of pressure and getting forward. We tried to make things happen and I think we did enough to win the game, but it wasn’t to be, I think a couple of decisions cost us today.
It’s always difficult to play against a Tony Pulis side, they have everybody at the back and they make it tough. We needed to concentrate and stay focussed and be strong; we did all of that exceptionally well and stayed in control. They were difficult to break down and we just didn’t get a break.
If a decision had gone our way, maybe that would have changed it for us. There’s nothing to regret, we just need to make sure we can do the same thing week in, week out without any nerves or doubts.
It’s great to have Lee [Cattermole] back; the fans love him and the energy and character he brings into the side; he was part of a very experienced team today. It was an important game and we didn’t want to take any chances; I needed men out there and that’s what we had, it nearly worked, but not quite. Sometimes when you miss a player you’re not sure why you miss him and then when he’s back in the side you know what it is you were missing; it was good to see him back.
Manchester United are going to be a totally different test next week, let’s hope we go there with the belief that we can get something out of the game, because we know we can.
The atmosphere was good, the fans were terrific and I think they understood what I was getting at with my letter and I’m very pleased about that. We need to move forward together and be positive.
Thanks for your support,
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