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Steve Cotterill reflects on tonight's game with Burnley

23 August 2022

Steve Cotterill spoke to the press after tonight's narrow defeat at home to Championship opposition, Burnley.

Town lost by one goal to nil at Montgomery Waters Meadow on Tuesday night. Samuel Bastien scored in the 50th minute after a low cross found its way to him at the back post.

Salop had the better chances and did have the ball in the back of the net in the 80th minute thanks to a Chey Dunkley header. Unfortunately, the centre-back was ruled offside.

Cotterill discussed the match; that offside decision; the tactical side of the game; Tom Bloxham and Charlie Caton; and squad rotation. 

On the match:

"I'm really proud of the players. I thought they were fantastic tonight, absolutely fantastic. I couldn't have asked any more of them tonight and I don't think they deserved to lose the game in my opinion.

"We had more shots on target and more efforts. Obviously, we didn't get the possession but we knew that was going to happen anyway. We made one mistake tonight when they got an overload for the goal - three against two - and we didn't stop the cross. We made one mistake and even Marko (Marosi) nearly saved it so we're disappointed.

"Good luck to Burnley. Great people, great club but all in all we're only disappointed with the result."

On Chey Dunkley's offside goal:

"I think our goal is onside and the reason I think that is that before the cross is put in, Matthew Pennington does what all defenders do when they go up, they push the defender and he pushes him back, but I think he's (the Burnley defender) still coming back (into the defensive line) when the ball is kicked (by Luke Leahy) so I still think he's (Chey Dunkley) still onside. I thought we were well worth it."

On the tactical side of the game:

"You can't push against them (Burnley) all game. If you do that they play around you and you get beaten 3-0 so tactically, the game has to be different for us than it can be for them. 

"You're asking the lads to go again against another big team and the kids who have come in - they're good kids - but what's going to happen is that they're going to get more and more tired. We have an opportunity to play those kids and even more kids next week in a game against Wolves (under-21s) and that's 100% going to happen. But tonight I was really proud of the boys."

On the youngsters players against international players:

"I thought they were great tonight, what you can't do is leave them out there when they're suffering because all of a sudden, it's not when they're running forward people see them suffering, it's their recovery runs because they have done so many of those tonight.

“They have worked so hard those two (Tom Bloxham and Charlie Caton). They have done great for the team, really great. The other players, such as Taylor Moore and Luke Leahy, did well tonight. Luke was good tonight, far better than he was on Saturday.

"The whole team was better tonight, it felt more like my team, but I don't think they had much left to give at the end of that week on Saturday. They need some recuperation time and I thought they were absolutely great tonight, and if anybody thinks any different, I don't know what game they were watching as I thought our boys were brilliant tonight.”

On squad rotation:

"That's the idea of playing young players, there will be a certain amount of suffering when you play the youngsters, and when you are getting people back from injury who have been out for a while, there will be suffering with them. You are never going to find out if you have a squad unless you breed some of your own, but I thought we were great tonight and really pleased with the two young lads. Also, I thought Ryan Bowman put in a good shift up top on his own, so yeah, onto Bristol Rovers now."

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