“I don't think there was much between the two teams”, Micky on JPT DefeatTown travelled to Deepdale to take on Preston North End looking to progress in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
The first half was a bit of a flat affair but the game sprang to life after Preston took the lead in the second half. Town pushed and created but in the end couldn't get back onto level terms and that was the end of the JPT run for this season.
After the game Micky Mellon spoke to the press to give his thoughts on the evenings game:”If we are honest it looked like it was one game too many for some of the lads.
“That zip and zest that has been very clear over the last few weeks just wasn't there tonight.
“I don't think there was much between the two teams if there was anything and it always looked like it would take a scrappy goal to separate the two teams.
“We huffed and puffed, and so did they, and it wasn't a great passing exhibition it was just a grind out.
“We are going to come up against games like this and you can't give away a scrappy goal like we did and we are disappointed with the result.”
The manager made a number of changes to the starting line-up and went with a 3-4-3 formation to start with. It was a case of getting some important match time under the players belts but it was a case of one game too many for others:”There were players who needed to play and there are players here to play first team football and when they opportunity comes up we need to give it them.
“The feeling now is that maybe it was one game too many for some of them so we needed to bring in others to backup the great work that the group has already done.
“We've lost a game but we will continue to back every player to play first team football.”
The game seemed to spark to life a little more after Preston took the lead in the second half. It was a case of Town trying to get something out of the game but in the end it wasn't to be:”We huffed and puffed and went a little more direct to try and create more goalscoring opportunities but as I said we lacked that little bit of zest and cleverness that is needed wasn't there tonight.”
The plus points from the night was the return to the starting line-up of Mark Ellis and the début of Anthony Griffith in a Town shirt:”I thought Griff did well, I thought Ellis did well and I thought a few of the others did well.
“I'm glad they got the time under their belts, Ellis has been out for a long time, Griffith hasn't even played a pre-season game.
“Jermaine has got another 90 minutes under his belt and I'm pleased that they've all got game time.”
The league is obviously Town's priority this season but Micky has spoken of his desire to do well in the cup competitions. There were just under 200 Town fans in the crowd at Deepdale and Town had wanted to win the game for them:”We obviously wanted to win and we came here with the attitude that we want to win every game that we play in and the next game now becomes the most important one.
“We are disappointed make no mistake, there are people who came here to watch us here tonight wanting to see win and we wanted to win the game for them.
“The opportunity to progress in the tournament hasn't happened so we will dust ourselves down and will look back at the game and see how we can improve.
“We need to rest the players up a little bit so we can hopefully get that zip and zest back that was missing tonight.”
To finish with Micky was asked how the injury situation was looking and there was a little concern over Ryan Woods:”Ryan Woods came off with a little bit of groin strain and those are the tell tale signs of overuse injuries.
“He's played a lot of football in recent games so we will see how he is over the next 24 hours.
“The rest are just on going and we are monitoring them, Andy Mangan and Ashley Vincent are improving all the time.
“Aaron Wildig and Mark Halstead collided in training last week so ones got a knock on the ankle and the other on his ribs but they are improving.”