Jacko’s thoughts after the 2-1 defeat at Tranmere
Mike Jackson thinks his side will need to win three of its remaining four games if they are to preserve their League One status. The manager was talking after a damaging 2-1 defeat at Prenton Park where Paul Parry’s second half equaliser had looked good enough to earn at least a point against Tranmere. But a late winner keeps Town in big trouble with Friday’s clash with Crewe now taking on huge significance if the Great Escape is to be realisied.
“I’ve just said to the lads, the way they worked and the way they got back into the game, I thought they were the better side,” said the Town boss. “So yeah, it’s disappointing not to get anything. It’s criminal the way we give goals away like we did today. I don’t mind if someone gets it and smashes it into the top corner, I’ll hold my hands up. But if we’re going to get out of this you can’t just give goals away on a plate like that. I thought Wildig and Summerfield were outstanding, and for Luke’s first game back I thought he gave us something completely different that we’ve not had for a while and there were some good performances today. The reason we’ve not come away with all three points is down to mentality, and mentality is what you build over a period of time. We haven’t had, and haven’t got, the time to do that. That result will knock the stuffing out of us and I know it’s a big ask but I think we’ll need to win three out of four now. I haven’t seen anyone give up, haven’t seen anyone not want the ball, anyone not trying. As long as we’ve got that, you never know. I’m not saying that’s it, I’ll go kicking and screaming. We’re just not getting the breaks. Their keeper makes a great save at the end, some vital blocks and yet they get two chances and score them.”
Jackson felt his side would go onto win once Parry had levelled matters in the second half: “I thought we started the second half well and were in the ascendancy when Paz scored,” he said. “But all of a sudden we’ve taken a step back and they’ve made a change throwing a wide man on. We’ve given him the freedom of Liverpool to pick his spot and he’s found the bottom corner. You can’t do that. For their first goal, we never stopped the cross and their lad’s had a leaping header that’s also gone in off the post. We’ve been pretty tight at the back so to give two goals away like that is disappointing.”
Jacko explained the changes he made to his own side with Jermaine Grandison replacing young Dominic Iorfa who was cramping up, and the gaffer accepted it wasn’t the youngster’s afternoon. He also thought Shaun Miller was bright when he came on for a struggling Bahrudin Atajic, and that Sam Foley took goalscorer Parry’s place as the winger had “run out of legs.”
The manager expanded on the Wildig/Summerfield central midfield display with Summers absent since New Year’s Day: “I know how they can play together and that’s why I took a gamble,” he said. “I know what they’re capable of and we’ve missed that sort of creativity and possession of the ball for the last 2/3 months which could be key.”
Colchester and of course Tranmere, both won today to give themselves a nice little cushion over Salop and Jackson thinks that Notts County are the team whose place they should seek: “We’ve targeted ourselves. We came here looking for three points and have let sloppy goals in to come away with nothing. We’ve said all along we should be looking after ourselves and wherever you end up is where you deserve to be I’m afraid. I hope the fans have seen the effort and workrate of the players here. It wasn’t a Colchester or a Walsall and as long as there’s fight in us you have a chance. I thought our fans were great and I said at half time that we were kicking towards them and they were the only ones I could hear – they were great all the way through. There’s no excuse for giving away goals like that and I know they’ll be as disappointed as the rest of us.”
The Easter Period is sure to be a telling time for the football club with games against Jackson’s former sides, Crewe and Preston, in the space of three days.