Jacko's thoughts after the home defeat to Crewe Alex
Town went into the real crunch game with Crewe Alexandra needing to take the 3 points to give themselves a chance of getting out the SkyBet League 1 relegation spots. In the end Town didn't stand up to the challenge and it was the visitors who took the points and moved out of the bottom four.
It was a cagey affair but once again Town didn't do the simple things and Crewe took the lead after being handed a corner and then added to it from a set piece. A third goal in the second half when Town were chasing the game was followed by some slight relief with Tom Bradshaw grabbing a late consolation but it did little to lighten the mood in the Greenhous Meadow.
After the game Town manager Mike Jackson spoke to the press to give his thoughts on a poor performance from his side:”Where do you start with that, I feel sorry for everyone connected with the club especially the fans who stuck with us all through that. There was no turning on the players which was a credit to them, they’ve got to sit there and watch a performance like that from their team.
“Up to when the goal went in it was a little bit cagey and I expected that but then we go and gift them a corner then don’t mark from that and then suddenly the atmosphere then changes.
“The nerves then start to kick in and that really debilitates some people and stops their energy, it might look like their not trying and not working but sometimes they can just freeze and think ‘oh no’.
“We had little spells before they scored but after there’s not a lot and that is not acceptable, but we’ve seen this before.
“We’ve had a great opportunity today with the other teams not winning but that makes today’s result and performance even more of a kick.
“There are three games left, we’ve got to try and it’s no use me tearing a strip of them, I’ve told them they need to speak to each other as a group. Get themselves in a room in the morning and have a good think about it, I just hope it’s not too late.
“It’s hard to digest it all and give an interview that gives any constructive input because today has been so disappointing.”
One of the big disappoints again was that despite Town getting into good positions and creating good openings that once again Town did little to test Garratt in the Crewe goal:”I can hear the crowd shouting 'get it in the box' and that's what we've done all week and it beggars belief. There must have been four or five crosses in the first half that go right to the back post and if that's Pogba for Crewe it's in the back of the net.
“We've got into areas in the box and link up to get it into the areas, the ball then goes into the box but we are not going in and attacking it.
“We do that everyday in training but on matchday they aren't doing it, you can't go out on the pitch and drag them into the box, you have to have that instinct and bravery.
“We come up short time and time again and that's why we don't score many goals, but we don't usually concede many.”
Jacko was asked if the result means that Town have hit rock bottom, and point he could see but he still hasn't given up hope that Town's slim chance of survival can be achieved:”You could hit rock bottom, if there was one game left you could say 'that's it' but we can't do that as it wouldn't be fair on our fans, that wouldn't right.
“We will go to Preston and you never know, something could spark or happen that makes the difference.
“We will definitely keep going we owe it to the fans to try and get out of this.”
It is now simple that Town will need to get three wins from the remaining three games to give themselves any chance, a tall order but it's still a chance:”It has to be, we spoke last week that we needed three wins out of four so one game doesn't change that, it does make it harder.
“We've got to pick the players up, it's not time to tear them to shreds as there are young lads in group who are coming to terms with it and it's a little bit of a struggle mentally.”
The one bright spot was Tom Bradshaw once again being on the scoresheet against Crewe Alexandra. Bradders is back from injury ahead of schedule and in contention for a place against Crewe:”He's not long since come back from injury so we've had those problems for selection.
“Anyone who is in the squad at the moment has a chance and is in contention.”
The squad are back in tomorrow and Sunday as originally planed but Jacko is expecting them to sit down in the morning and go through some home truths about the position they find themselves in:”We will come in tomorrow, we prepare them for every game but they need to come in and thrash it out between them.
“There have been a few things said in there about what relegation can do to your career and do to you as a player, some of them don't realise it and I hope the realisation of that comes out tomorrow.
“It's come from a few lads who were watching the game who have come down and I've opened it to everyone and a few things were said but we will see.”
The result is another test in Mike Jackson's short managerial career and part of the pressure of being in the hot seat:”I didn't see that coming today, I thought it would be a bit cagey but we had a few players who didn't turn up, like we had against Tranmere, and I can only think that it is a mental thing. They get to a stage where there is fear, and that is the disappointment as we showed against Stevenage that we can play with no fear.
“You can't pick and chose it but as the games go by the pressure builds up and I think that's what has got to them today.
“I thought Crewe looked edgy and didn't start the game great but we gift them a corner and then gift them a set play and the whole dynamic of the place changes and we didn't get back from that.”