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Grayson Unhappy At ‘Poor Performance’

25 August 2013

Simon Grayson was unhappy with the performance of his side following PNE’s 4-4 draw against Coventry City at Sixfields Stadium.

The Lilywhites claimed the lead no less than three times in Northampton, and looked to have won the game when Chris Humphrey slotted into an empty net with just seconds on the clock.

However, Steven Pressley’s side had other ideas, as Mathieu Manset scored the equaliser with practically the last kick of the game to send the Coventry fans wild.

And the North End manager gave an honest review of the match when speaking to the press after the game.

“From my point of view it was a shocking game of football,” Grayson said.

“Yes, we scored four goals, but that’s as poor defensively with the ball, without it, since I’ve been here anyway, and over the course of the game we didn’t deserve to get anything.

“You score four goals, the last one to go into the lead, but with a minute to go you, at least, show some desire to keep that lead and go and win the game but the last goal probably epitomised the game, we didn’t go with runners, we didn’t stop the cross and then we let somebody free in the box.

“A disappointing performance all round, and the goals that we scored paper over the cracks of a poor performance.”

What seemed to dissatisfy Grayson most was the inability of his side to match the Sky Blues’ physicality, as North End were often beaten by the pace and strength of their opposition.

“I told the players all week what we needed to work on to be better, we knew what Coventry would be like, they’re a young, exuberant team, they’ve got energy about them, they were going to get bodies forward and we’d have to match them and we didn’t do that enough,” he added.

“Too many times we were too open, we looked like a team in the early part of the season that looked hard to beat, and today we looked like we could have conceded half a dozen.”

It was the Lilywhites' first 4-4 stalemate since the 1959/60 season, and only the seventh in the Club’s history, and Grayson made it clear that his side need to avoid high scoring games if they are to be successful this season.

“If you’re going to get a promotion or be somewhere near a promotion at the end of the season, you’ve got to avoid 4-4 games,” he said.

“You have to grind performances and tire teams out with 1-0’s and 2-0 or what have you. Hopefully this is a freak result from our point of view.”

The Sky Blues' attacking style of play is a unique one, and something Grayson doesn’t believe North End will encounter too many times this campaign.

“They played in a manner that we probably won’t come across that often because they are very gung-ho and they do go for it,” he said.

“But when you play against teams like that you’ve got to stand up and be counted, too many of ours didn’t stand up and be counted.”

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