Manager Simon Grayson admitted that he ‘wasn’t pleased’ as he made his way swiftly to the dressing rooms at half-time in the derby day win over Fleetwood Town.
“It was constructive criticism,” he said when asked what he had said at the break. ”The one thing I wasn’t pleased about was that they showed a much better appetite and application for the game in the early stages.
“We played as if we didn’t think it was a local derby; we didn’t win any second balls, we didn’t win any first balls, we didn’t get on the front foot, we didn’t make enough tackles and they emphasised that it was a local derby and did all those things.
“We made a few changes at half-time, but the one thing I said was that we had to work hard, win our battles and tackles, because if you do that you are going to get a chance and the first goal in the second half was vitally important for both teams and obviously we got it.
“I said to the players that if we got the first goal in the second half that the stadium would erupt and it certainly did and it made for a fantastic atmosphere and a fantastic result in the end.”
The matchday hero was again Joe Garner, whose second half hat-trick was a stunning display for forward play, but the gaffer was also quick to praise his second half strike partner, Kevin Davies.
“You know Joe is going to get opportunities, but we didn’t play to his strengths in the first half,” he continued. “We didn’t get enough balls into the box and didn’t work their back four. But having Kev up alongside him for that period of the second half helped him.
“It gave us the opportunity to get balls into the box and I though Kev was outstanding.
“He showed his experience and his quality that has made him the player that he is and that made for a fantastic partnership.
“Credit to all the lads who came on. There were some really good performances; we had to work their back four and test them; sometimes you can win matches by playing nice football all the time, but sometimes you have to play that little bit ugly and get that first goal to affect how the game goes.”
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