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Interviews

Maamria Looking To Make His Team More Clinical

19 January 2020

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After a third successive draw in the space of a week, the Head Coach gave his thoughts on the performance at home to Carlisle United.

Going into the game both sides needed the points to push away from the bottom of the table in what was an open game and a tale of two teams going for the win.

"To be fair it was a good game of football and was end-to-end in the second-half with both teams going for it.

"I was slightly disappointed in the first-half as we didn't take our chances and we gifted them a silly, silly goal which was the first time they got into our attacking third and they scored from it.

"It took a bit of wind out of our sails but we got back into it before half-time and emphasised about the point of staying on the front foot to try and get that all-important second goal as earliest as possible to make the game easier for us."

He continued: "To be fair as well they are a decent team. They've played against Cardiff over two games and held them and done really well against the Championship side. They also have some dangerous players especially with their attacking threat which are very good.

"But overall, you look back at it and in the last three games we've conceded two goals in three, with one being a penalty, where in the previous three games before that we conceded nine goals.

"So what was important for me was to make sure we got our own house in order first and made sure we defended properly so that we do the ugly and basic side of it well. I thought we defended really well overall.

"Going forward everybody can see what Danny Rowe can offer us, I thought he was fantastic. Zak Dearnley came on as well and was different class and hopefully when we get Zak fit we can see more. I'm really gutted for him because the toe-poke could've easily gone in, but his first touch and movement was different class and is something we've been lacking.

"So those are the positives and Piergianni at the back was a man mountain again. Those are the additions we're trying to add to the football club. Those players are a big plus for us and we'll be in a better place next week and hopefully we'll get those players gelling a little bit more with the team, we'll be much better next week I'm sure."

Despite stopping the leak in defence, the lack of goals recently to kill games off is partly down to the the injuries that have occurred over recent weeks and the composure in the side to take advantage more when on top.

"I don't think we've been playing since McCann has been out of the team, as we've not really worked the ball as we normally do through in the middle of the park.

"I've asked the lads to be brave on the ball, show composure. We did a lot of that, I thought we were brilliant in the first-half, but like I said if we've been lacking anything we've been on top in the last three games in long periods but we don't score with the pressure.

"What we've got to learn is, when we're on top as we were in this game, Tuesday night first-half and then at Macclesfield as well in the second-half, we have to score goals in those periods of the game because it makes it easier for us.

"We didn't do that, in fact it was the opposite so it's a work in progress still and the two debutants showed some good signs going forwards."

In the game Maamria made two attacking changes bringing players on as a direct replacement and confirmed it was purely tactical.

"I'm always honest with the players. Dez [Azankpo] played two games, Saturday Tuesday and got a booking and wasn't on his game so I decided to take him off.

"I'm not someone to be scared of making early subs if something is not working, I've got to change it and you can't carry on doing what you're doing and expect a different result.

"Scott Wilson came on to make an impact but I thought in the second-half he tired a little bit as well and I've been itching to put Zak Dearnley on because in training he's been different class and just needs that fitness.

"I always knew I was going to give Zak twenty minutes at the end of the game and it nearly worked. A bit more luck and he would've put the ball in the back of the net."

With the recent attacking additions the Head Coach knows his side need to take advantage of the chances they are creating now and is something he insists needs to continued to be worked on.

"It's quite frustrating as we're getting into brilliant positions and that final ball you see 2v1s with Maouche, Dearnley, Rowe and Smith and it's an easy pass for an open net. 

"They're those things where you can only go back to the training ground and keep working on them and keep giving the lads confidence to improve their decision making in the final third.

"Let's not forget Jonny Smith is still a young man and scored a fantastic goal today and will make those mistakes; but he'll learn from them and grow and hopefully next week we'll be better for it with that final pass which we'll have to execute because if we do that we'll win games."

He added: "It was a really good performance from start to finish, it was open because we wanted to go for the win. They did the same too but those vital moments when we got into great positions we didn't capitalise on the chances we had."


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