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Interviews

Post Cambridge | Steve Cotterill

26 December 2022

Manager Steve Cotterill spoke to the media following our 2-1 defeat at Cambridge.

Town, looking to register a fourth successive victory, took the lead at Abbey Stadium when Christian Saydee found the bottom corner following a flowing team move.

But the hosts went on to turn the game around with Shilow Tracey pulling them level just two minutes later when he cut in from the wing and curled in a strike with his right foot.

Sam Smith then found a winner for the hosts following a Chey Dunkley error.

Speaking post-match, Steve felt his team did more than enough to win the game with Cambridge restricted to very few chances over the course of the 90 minutes.

On what was a hugely frustrating afternoon from the off, Tom Flanagan was initially named in Town's starting XI but - following the warm-up - he came out the side due to feeling unwell.

That meant Rekeil Pyke came into the side at right wing-back with Taylor Moore switching to centre-half.

Then in the close stages of the game, Shrewsbury saw substitute Ryan Bowman sent off.

Speaking to the press, Steve discussed all those issues and gave an update on Aiden O'Brien who returned to the Town squad for the first time since October.

ON THE GAME:

"I'm disappointed, really disappointed. We did not do enough in the first half and we have got to put them to bed in the second half.
 
"We did not have enough urgency in our play. I thought we became so in control of the game that we were only going to get done by a lapse in concentration, or maybe a mistake.
 
"We know that Shilow is right-footed, and that will all come as part of the preparation for the game. It (the result) is a real disappointment."
 
ON CHRISTIAN'S OPENER:
 
"The goal was fantastic, the two after it were not though.
 
"They are allowed a mistake they are going to do that.
 
"I thought that we did not get a lot today off the referee, I thought all the little things, it was the home crowd that got them silly little free-kicks.
 
"The game was stop-start so much, we could have done with scoring the goal later on because then they had to come out and make a bit more of a game of it.
 
"All we had to defend in the first half, was a long throw down the line, and maybe a long throw into the box or a corner.
 
"We have to take it on the chin, but it is a difficult one to reflect on so soon after the game."
 
ON RYAN BOWMAN'S SENDING-OFF:
 
"I have not seen it yet. I will have to look at that, I will have enough time to look at it on the way home."
 
ON TOM FLANAGAN COMING OUT OF THE STARTING XI DUE TO ILLNESS:
 
"He is not very well, but we are not going to heap it on Tom Flanagan being poorly because I thought Taylor Moore played very, very, well today.
 
"It does not help when you have to make that change at 2:40PM, but that is not the reason.
 
"If you look at our performance in the second half, if we'd have played like that for 90 minutes we would have won the game 3-0 or 4-0 today."

ON ENTERING THE GAME HAVING WON THREE IN A ROW BUT NOT PLAYED FOR 16 DAYS: 

“They didn’t play either. We can’t make any excuses. 

“If it looked like one team had played last week, it was us. 

“But we didn’t hit our rhythm quick enough in the first half. 

“We were sort of accepting of defending their throw-ins or whatever like that.  

“I thought we didn’t move the ball anywhere near quick enough in the first half. 

“You can forget anything else. You can forget Shilow comes inside on his right foot, and he bends it into the top corner. It’s a great goal by him, but our defending on that is not very good at all. 

“Chey makes a mistake. He is the first one in, and he will say that it is on him. The only thing is it’s a team game this, and the boys were quick to chip back - how many times has he saved us when balls have gone in our box? 

“That happens, individual mistakes are not something we're into here. 

“We win collectively and we lose collectively, but we haven’t deserved to lose that game today. No chance, no chance. We were the better team by a mile.” 

ON AIDEN O'BRIEN'S RETURN TO THE SQUAD:

"There is progress – but with Aiden and Julien Dacosta the progress this season has been very stunted and very slow.  

"We have had to work with what we’ve had to work with. The last time we had a hick-up like this was when Jordan Shipley had to go home (from Cheltenham) when his partner was having a baby. 

"We’ve had one with Tom (Flanagan) before the game today and it’s never a straight swap, like-for-like.  

"Rekeil Pyke had to come back in today but he was starting to cramp up towards the end because he hasn’t played 90 minutes for a while. 

"It’s a tough one to get over and a tough one to swallow because there is no way we deserved to lose that game. 

"We deserved to win the game, not even draw it. We were the better team. We were dominant. 

"It’s funny how we’ve lost the game here, and last year we played really well and drew the game 0-0. 

"The goal it gave them a lift – when they got the equaliser.

"We had to become more and more dominant.  I felt as though we did that. Apart from not scoring another goal we were the better team today. 

"What we have to do now is bounce back with a win over Cheltenham."

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