Graham Turner's thoughts after the 2-2 draw at Carlisle
Graham Turner thought that today’s draw at Carlisle represented two points lost rather than one gained. Town twice led through second half goals by Matt Richards and a first in League football for defender Yado Mambo. But on both occasions, Shrewsbury saw their leads evaporate quickly as the Cumbrains hit back with identical penalties.
“I think it was a missed opportunity and it was disappointing that we allowed them to come at us both times after we scored,” said the Salop chief ruefully. “You could tell from the reaction of the players to the first penalty that it was a decision that shouldn’t have been given. I think the referee was totally unsighted for it and that it was an amazing decision. Where we are you can’t have a clear picture of it but from all the players around the incident, they’re saying it didn’t strike Luke on the arm or the hand. Our downfall was allowing them to get into those positions so soon after we scored on both occasions.”
Graham was asked about his opinion on Town’s opener just past the hour when the skipper’s free kick took the Carlisle keeper by surprise for a soft opener. “We’ve just been talking about it in the dressing room,” he said, “and Matt said that he saw their keeper was a long way over and although he got a strong hand on it, when you put shots on target there’s always a chance that they might end up in the back of the net. If you put them over the bar, there’s no chance.”
Mambo celebrated the second goal wildly but once again Town handed the impetus back to the home side quickly. Still, it was a special moment for the defender. “It’s time that we got goals from our centre halves when they go up for set pieces,” said Turner. “We would hope for one or two more from set plays before the end of the season. When we’re settling down on the bus on the journey home we might see it as a point won but it doesn’t feel like that at the moment.”
The manager thought the second penalty was a bit clearer a decision for the referee although he was of the opinion that Jon Paul McGovern was on his way down before any sort of contact from Chris Weale – who picked up a yellow card in the 82nd minute incident. “We shouldn’t have been caught in the position we were and left Chris so exposed. From what the lads are saying there might have been some contact but he went looking for it so they’re always likely to be given,” Turner said.
Darren Jones was taken to hospital in some distress after injury on 19 minutes and GT said that he had been taken to hospital with the injury likely to be a dislocation of his shoulder. Turner said that he would probably be out for the season and bemoaned the fact that he now has four injured defenders in Gayle, Grandison, Edwards and now Jones. Turner admitted that his side were now bare on numbers and recognised with the transfer window now closed that they would have to deal with it.
Shrews went for Steve McGinn in central midfield and Turner was asked what the thinking was behind that decision: “We have another game on Monday and Dave needed a rest I think. He’s been struggling for form a little bit of late despite working hard and Steve’s a good player and he’s had to be patient but I thought him and Luke did well for us today.”
That game in 48 hours is at home to Crawley and is another massive game with only five left after that one. But Turner didn’t want to be reminded of his side’s struggling form on home soil. “For a long time our ground was a fortress – for much of last season and some time before it. We need to get some results at home because some of our away performances and results of late have been decent. We’ve started to slip up a bit but we don’t need the players to be put under any additional pressure, there’s enough already without the media reminding me that we’ve only won one in eight. We mustn’t make it into a must win game as that will bring a wrong attitude.”
Turner showed some sympathy to the assembled press on hearing that a supporter’s bus had been turned around some distance from Brunton Park due to horrible traffic congestion on the M6 around Preston and Blackpool. “The fans have travelled in great numbers all over the place. It’s a hell of a long journey up here particularly on a Bank Holiday so for the one’s that didn’t make it here they have my sympathy.”