Graham Turner's thoughts after the 2-1 defeat to Crewe Alexandra
By Matt Johnson
Graham Turner revealed his underlying frustration as Town’s winless run stretched to five after a 2-1 defeat to Crewe in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round at the Greenhous Meadow.
The Alex took the lead on ten minutes and doubled their advantage early in the second half. Substitute Asa Hall’s fortuitous long ranger gave Town hope, but it wasn’t to be as Crewe booked their place in the third round.
“It’s difficult to explain,” said Turner. “I thought first half we were too sluggish, we were too slow and we didn’t work hard enough.
“We played the second half more at the pace we started the season off at. We were a bit more positive and a bit more on top of Crewe in that period, but we allowed them to dictate to us in the first half too much.”
Turner was again left disappointed with the way his side defended and the way Crewe controlled things. Asked if the hunt for striking reinforcements continued, he simply replied with “yes”.
“Maybe it’s just crept in for the last two or three home matches, but we haven’t worked anywhere near as hard or at the tempo as we’ve got to.
“You look at how we defended and we had got plenty of men goal-side of the ball for the first goal and nobody has taken responsibility. It’s happened too many times so far this season and its something that we’ve got to learn very quickly now, we’re paying a heavy price.
“Crewe did play well, but anyone could’ve played well the way we played in the first half. I think that we were way off the pace of things and allowed Crewe to dictate to us.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s televised clash with local rivals Walsall, Turner has challenged his players to respond positively to the poor recent form and is keen to use the second half performance as a building block for success.
“If we fail to work hard and play at the right tempo then it’ll be a problem for us, but there’s a lesson in that second 45 minutes that we can play the game. We did early on in the season with some outstanding performances and we’ve got to get back to that.
“I want to see a response from the players and that’s the important thing.”