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Bunn Commends Defensive Improvement

3 October 2018

Manager Frankie Bunn believes last night's gritty performance will stand the team in good stead after they managed to come away with a point again a solid Mansfield Town outfit.

Latics had Daniel Iverson to thank in the first half for a number of brilliant saves, as well as the defensive unit who put their bodies on the line.

Bunn accepted that his side wasn’t good enough on the ball, but he was pleased with the togetherness the team showed once again to grind out a result.

“It wasn't pretty, I commend Mansfield, they came at us right from the first whistle, we couldn't contain them, and we panicked a little bit first half on the ball.” He said.

“But we're a unit, everyone will defend, everyone’s together and that’s where the spirit we’ve been speaking about from pre-season comes into fruition.

“When you’re put into a bit of adversity you have to deal with it and sometimes it’s not your day with the ball which it wasn’t today, but we've come through the other side again kept a clean sheet.”

Conceding goals was a huge problem for Latics last season, with 75 goals in their against column.

But Bunn and his management staff identified this in pre-season as a problem they had to solve.

So far Latics have kept five clean sheets away from home and have only conceded eight goals in 11 league games this campaign which shows the progress the side has made.

“To be fair to us we go in at half time 0-0 which speaks volumes for the players because it’s something we've seen from last year we've conceded an abundance of goals.” He commented.

“You can see from performances this season that has been eradicated which I hope continues, but the spirit and determination after being under the cosh and to come through the other side was terrific.”

With Mansfield having the better of the first half, Bunn switched things up to a 3-5-2 formation to try and get a foothold in the game at half time.

The change seemed to work as Latics offered more of a threat going forward and managed to contain the flow of attacks that Mansfield had in the second period.

“We had to change things, or we would have conceded because they were on top, we just tried to match them up and that stemmed it for a large part of the second half.

“I thought the switch was ok, it is perhaps something we can look to in the future, we’ve changed things around and ultimately got a point from the game.”

Bunn also had praise for the mental toughness of his side which will come in good use once the business end of the season comes into play.

“I think we're mentally tough, we've had to withstand a barrage of crosses and long balls, ok we weren't great with the ball, but even the best teams aren’t always great.

“If you can’t win, don’t lose and that’s what we’ve done tonight.”


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