The Gaffer's thoughts after the defeat away to Port Vale
Town fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Port Vale after putting in a performance that didn't build in the previous weeks win over Bury.
The performance was flat at times and Town didn't give a good showing of themselves over the 90 minutes.
After the game manager Micky Mellon spoke to the press to give his thoughts on the game;”Right from the start we never won enough of the one v one battles that you have to win in any game, never mind a derby.
“Pretty much all over the pitch we got out ran and out fought which is surprising coming off the back of a game like the one we played against Bury.
“There were too many battles lost today and that is just the basics of League 1 football.”
One of the disappointments was that Town failed to continue their performances levels that had been showed against Bury; “That is the tough thing as we didn’t see that performance coming.
“People will tell you that the bare minimum is that you have to compete and we didn’t do that all over the pitch.
“We continued to lose those battles and weren’t smart enough today to try and find a way of winning them.
“I’m talking about headers from keepers, knock downs, stopping crosses coming in, one v one defending and things like that.
“We just came out too many times, all over the pitch second best.”
Town were still in the game at half-time but the second half performance was flat and it took until late on for the visitors to test the Vale keeper;”It took us so long to try and put a dent in their back four.
“I don’t want to single out people because as a whole we needed to get hold of the ball as that gives you time to get up the pitch and to get runners in and around their back players.”
“When we look back and comb over performances we try to look and say we pressed well, we dealt with crosses well, but there were too many parts today that we were second best.”
Town started the second half with James Collins coming on to replace Larnell Cole, the gaffe was asked if this was tactical or down to a problem with Cole;”Larnell has a tight hamstring and he has had that on and off all week.
“He was fit enough to play but sometimes when you watched him you could see he wasn’t making an impact and it didn’t look like the Coley we know.
“It was a physical battle so we tried to get James up there alongside Tyrone putting pressure on their back four.
“We just tried to get a wee bit more aggression in there.”
The second change that Micky made was to replace Nat Knight-Percival with Jordan Clark;”Natty had picked up a booking and I’m worried the lad against him is a good player.
“I wanted to be able to leave my full-back one v one with him to get bodies forward.
“To do that you need to have someone who can tackle and if Natty makes another challenge wrong he might be off the pitch.”
It was another game where Town conceded two goals in a game and conceded another penalty, which makes it eight so far this season;”I’m disappointed, another penalty and I don’t know why we are panicking in those areas.
“The goal before that was from a series of corners that we had done well to defend, but the pressure was building and it’s gone in.”
As with all games Town will look back it and see what positives can be taken from it. Today's positive might not look like much of one but the gaffer is hoping disappointment will spur the squad on;”The positive is that we are really, really disappointed today.
“You can tell from the body language of the players that we know that we have let a lot of people down today
“The bare minimum of being a professional footballer is that you turn up and try to win your battles, but as i’ve said that didn’t happen too many times today.
“Everyone knew what they had to do today but we feel short too many times today.”