Gaffer pleased with performance but believes side did enough for a winMicky Mellon admitted after the 0-0 draw at Cambridge that he felt the home side had got out of jail. Town were dominant in every area at the Abbey Stadium hitting the bar twice and missing a number of good chances to seal the victory.
“We’re frustrated because that was as good a performance as we’ve given away from home,” said the Town gaffer. “You’ve always got to be able to separate the two things: the performance and the result. Cambridge will be happier than us with the result but it’s another point on the road and keeps us moving forward. We looked a good side and managed to put two halves of very good football together.
“I couldn’t have asked any more of them. The performance was great in both attacking and defending terms. We looked like a side who knew what they were trying to achieve in the way that we played. The only thing we can be disappointed with, is the chances we made should have been put away. The one where Jean-Louis (Akpa Akpro) was one v. one with the goalkeeper was the best one and he should have slotted it in. There were numerous chances and on another day Cambridge would have found themselves on the end of a completely different scoreline. They know that we’ve let them off the hook and you could tell that by the way their fans and even their players were wanting to hear the final whistle to come.”
Cambridge have been free-scoring since their return to the Football League which Mellon was acutely aware of. But they barely had a sniff against a compact and resolute Town defence that were barely troubled throughout. “We knew all about that,” said Micky. “We knew that plenty of teams have come here and had a difficult time so I think our players deserve a hell of a lot of credit for the way they went and dominated. The fan’s backing was great again and it’s disappointing we’ve not sent them home with the three points.”
Town’s first choice keeper Jayson Leutwiler had to be taken off with the manager explaining his injury: “He got a dead leg in the first half from one of their free-kicks I think and at half-time he said he didn’t think he could do his teammates justice by staying out there, so full credit to him for that as it’s not an easy decision for a player to make. But I don’t think Mark Halstead has had a save to make though you know you have a very able goalkeeper on hand to replace Jayson.”
In other team news Micky said that James Wesolowski had a hamstring injury – the full extent isn’t yet known - although he expects the midfielder to be worked hard by the club’s medical staff, with a busy period of games ahead in the next few weeks. And Jermaine Grandison reported in ill yesterday morning so he couldn’t travel. That gave another opportunity to defender Mark Ellis and Mellon was well pleased with his response: “I was delighted for Mark. As we’ve always said here to the players on the fringe, they need to be ready to come in. They have to be ready and to do that they need to work hard in between games. It’s not always easy to do that when you’re on the bridle but he showed his professionalism today, just like others must do so that when called upon, they can give performances like Mark Ellis gave today.”