Graham Turner's thoughts after the defeat away to Bradford City
James Hanson’s 94th minute winner at Valley Parade left Town’s boss Graham Turner despondent as he saw his side surrender a lead for the fourth successive away game. Tom Bradshaw had given Town a dream start with less than two minutes played with his fourth goal of the campaign but the Bantams put Shrewsbury on the back foot for much of the second 45. And when the returning Dave Winfield received a second yellow with four minutes left, Town just couldn’t hold out and fell to a defeat with virtually the last kick.
“We have to take a look at ourselves and find out why we’re conceding goals so late in the game,” said a clearly disappointed Shrews boss. “They’re a very direct side and play up to the front man getting knock downs off him quite often but we have to be able to cope with that. I felt we didn’t play on the ball as well as we should have done in the second half. When teams are throwing men forward chasing the game we’ve got to be looking at picking them off and creating chances of our own. The one that we did create with a good ball over the top fell to Tom and he should have done better with that. It would be nice if we could get a two goal cushion at some point ‘cos that wouldn’t half ease the pressure. We have to get stronger mentally to be able to cope with intimidating places like this.”
GT was clearly unhappy at the sending off with Winfield throwing his body in the way of a well-struck City shot. The referee ruled deliberate handball and suddenly Town’s task was an even tougher one: “From where I was stood on the touchline it looked a very harsh sending off,” said Turner. “You talk about hands being in an unusual position when it strikes you but their lads fired off a great shot and Dave’s just there attempting to block it which he did. Where it’s hit him I don’t know but how the referee can send David off for that is beyond my comprehension. It’s disappointing for Dave because I think he dealt well in the main with a lot of balls into our box and the goal has undone a lot of good work. But I can’t complain about the effort the players have put in today. We just need a little bit more know-how and perhaps a mental toughness to go on and win matches.”
The manager was asked about how difficult it might be to lift his troops as many of them were on their knees at conceding so late. “We had to do it last week against Wolves with no aftermath and a good week in training and we’ll need to do the same. We’ve had a chat for 20-25 minutes in the dressing room just but we’ll go again on Monday and prepare the team for two home games against Carlisle and then Gillingham. We’re going to lose leads once or twice and you accept that but it’s happening far too often and we’re losing a lot of points as a result.”
Turner recognises that his side had been given a tough looking set of fixtures – on paper at least – but felt the home games to come wouldn’t be easy fixtures: “We need a lot of bottle in the side and that mental toughness I spoke about. We’re playing some good teams in this league and they won’t give you anything. The players will need to deal with any criticism or any feelings of negativity – put them to one side and be ready tom get a positive result starting against Carlisle.”