Needing to make an impression for once in the Carling Cup, the manager of an ambitious Premier club names three strikers, with transfer fees that could rise to £27m, in his squad to visit a newly promoted Championship side.
So far, so good. Trouble is they’re all on the bench when the game starts. Not until the 52rd minute is one of them sent on, to be joined with only minutes left of normal time by a second and, believe it or not, deep into extra time by the third and and most costly. No smirking, please, at the first sentence of Steve Bruce‘s e-mail …
My overriding emotion is one of disappointment because I’ve said all along we take cup competitions extremely seriously and we put out a team that mirrored that.
But like today and Saturday, if you don’t take chances when they come along you leave yourself open.
We knew it would be difficult going down to Brighton who are playing in a new stadium and have had a great start to the season.
We need to take our chances because otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable and that proved to be the case.
Brighton get the ball down and play and are good in possession. You can see why they’re doing so well.
We had long spells of possession, especially during the first half, but we need to take those chances.
The goal was sloppy – bad defending. We switched off and were punished for it.
If you don’t score, you don’t win football matches and at the moment that’s where we’re lacking.
All the best,